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IND vs BAN – 1st ODI: India Ease Home In Rain-hit Game

By on June 16, 2014

India 153 for 3 (Rahane 64, Uthappa 50) beat Bangladesh 272 for 9 (Mushfiqur 59, Shakib 52, Yadav 3-48) by seven wickets (D/L method)…

Openers Ajinkya Rahane and Robin Uthappa made fifties as India beat Bangladesh by seven wickets after a nearly three-hour rain interruption during their chase. Bangladesh rustled up 272 for 9 after choosing to bat on a slow pitch.

IND vs BAN - 1st ODI: Ajinkya RahaneIn reply, Uthappa and Rahane racked up 99 at more than run a ball. Then it poured, but the drainage in Mirpur allowed a revised target of 150 in 26 overs to be set.

The rain had freshened up the pitch and the Indians found the ball turning and bouncing sharply but, even then, 50 required in the remaining 9.2 overs did not prove to too hard to knock off.

India had the openers to thank for giving them such a solid headstart. Playing his first ODI in nearly six years, Uthappa showed he was still in the same touch that had earned him ten successive scores of 40 or more in the IPL.

First ball of the innings, he flowed forward to steer Mashrafe Mortaza behind point for two. Mortaza responded by beating the outside edge twice in the next three balls.

That was about as difficult as it was going to get for Uthappa. In the fourth over, he opened the face to guide Al-Amin Hossain past slip for four and also drove him past mid-on for the same result.

Two shots were emphatic proof of the ridiculous form Uthappa is in. On a pitch where batsmen had to resort to slog-sweeps to generate power and distance, he stepped down to Abdur Razzak in the left-arm spinner’s first over and calmly clipped him over the deep midwicket boundary. Three overs later, he drove Shakib Al Hasan in the air, held his straight followthrough and watched the ball sail over the wide long-off rope.

Rahane had to labour harder for his runs. He started slowly and eventually decided to give Mortaza the charge. The first time, he cleared mid-on awkwardly, the second time, he timed it for six over extra cover. He was at ease after that, as both batsmen easily and regularly rotated the strike.

Uthappa had just reached his fifty when he was given leg-before off Shakib, replays showing a healthy inside edge before ball hit pad. The skies had been threatening to open for quite some time, and they did so in the same over.

Upon resumption, Shakib belted out successive appeals for leg-before against Cheteshwar Pujara as the ball darted around alarmingly. The second appeal saw Pujara heading back for a duck, even as replays suggested the ball would have gone over the stumps.

Some confused running and close calls followed, but Rahane and Ambati Rayudu found the big hits ultimately, and captain Suresh Raina completed the job with more than an over to spare.

Bangladesh would have felt confident at the break after taking India’s ragtag attack, with two debutant spinners and two limping fast bowlers, for 272. They could have got even more. Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib, Anamul Haque and Mahmudullah made solid contributions but all of them fell when they were looking good for more.

India were hurt by Mohit Sharma hobbling off the field in his fourth over. He came back but could send down only two more. The other fast bowler Umesh Yadav also pulled up and lost his lines in the Dhaka heat at the death.

Bangladesh targetted the three specialist spinners after a rather slow start. It was Mushfiqur who built some momentum. Yadav and Mohit had tied down the top order with their discipline. Bangladesh were 35 for 2 in the 11th over when Mushfiqur came in and began positively, his approach also rubbing off on Anamul.

Even as Anamul holed out after moving to 44, cutting short a promising stand at 52, Mushfiqur continued slog-sweeping at the other end and raced past his fifty. The shot eventually brought his downfall, and the mishit gave debutant Parvez Rasool his second wicket. Yet another partnership had grown but had been terminated prematurely, this time at 47.

Shakib and Mahmudullah, another batsman in need of runs, now added a composed 65 for the fifth wicket. Both batsmen fell against the run of play, once again. Bangladesh slipped from 229 for 5 to 235 for 8 but Mortaza and Razzak clubbed a few boundaries to haul them to 272. They weren’t getting those many to defend, though.

Abhishek Purohit is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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