Twenty20 Round-Up: Ojha ends hopes of Bangladesh upset

Defending champions India show why they are favourites to win again
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The Independent Online

India's Pragyan Ojha claimed four wickets on his Twenty20 international debut to bowl the holders to a 25-run win over Bangladesh in their opening World Cup group A game on Saturday.

The left-arm spinner, yet to play a test, took 4 for 21 from his four overs and ended an early victory charge from Bangladesh, who managed 155 for eight in reply to India's 180 for 5 at Trent Bridge.

Bangladesh were 74 for 2 after eight overs and managing a run rate of more than nine runs per over. Ojha then spoiled their chances of an upset, gradually steering India towards a comfortable victory. "We are defending champions so when you get into the team there is a lot of responsibility on you to perform," he said.

Ojha had Shakib Al Hasan caught from his first delivery after the batsman top-edged a drive to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Opener and top scorer Junaid Siddique (41 from 22 balls) followed four deliveries later, caught at deep midwicket. Mahmudullah, caught by a diving Yuvraj Singh, and Mashrafe Mortaza (bowled) capped off a fine opening match for Ojha.

Opener Gautam Gambhir top scored for India with 50 from 46, but it was Yuvraj – who struck four sixes – who really took the game away from Bangladesh.

New Zealand will give a fitness test to captain Daniel Vettori today after sweating for their opening win without him. Left-arm spinner Vettori was ruled out of the seven-wicket victory over Scotland after falling on his shoulder in Friday's practice session. The 30-year-old has had a cortisone injection in the joint in a bid to face South Africa in a Group D contest at Lord's tomrrow.

"Hopefully with 36 hours between games he will be fit for that," said vice-captain Brendon McCullum. "If not we have got to get our head around ways we can operate without him in that game against a very good side in South Africa. But we are all fingers crossed that we get such a good player, and our captain, back for the next game and the duration of the tournament."

The Black Caps were given a major scare by the Scots on Saturday, who set a 90-run target, but nerves were calmed when McCullum and Jesse Ryder shared a half-century opening stand inside three overs.

McCullum reserved praise for Ryder, who hit 31 off 12 deliveries, just days after his cousin was killed in a car crash in New Zealand. "It has been a pretty tough time for him," said McCullum. "He showed an amazing ability to concentrate on his task out in the middle. He has been working hard and that was hopefully just a glimpse of what we see from him throughout this tournament."

New Zealand's big hitting eventually saw them home with a whole over to spare but fast bowler Ian Butler, who claimed 3 for 19 to restrict the Scots' scoring, admitted: "It was probably the most nervous I have ever been in any cricket game at half-time, and it is not something you really want to feel this early in the tournament."