Collective batting effort helps India reach 317/6

Mirpur (Bangladesh), June 24 (IANS) A collective batting effort and a late blitz from left-hander Suresh Raina ensured that India posted a challenging score of 317/6 against Bangladesh in their third One-Day International at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium here on Wednesday.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan (75) top scored for the visitors who also had notable contributions from Mahendra Singh Dhoni (69), Ambati Rayadu (44) and Raina (38).

For Bangladesh, skipper Mashrafe Mortaza was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3/76. Teen sensation Mustafizur Rahman finished with 2/57.

The visitors were off to a very cautious start and the openers looked steady from the very start. Right-hand opener Rohit Sharma managed to pick up a few early boundaries which included one lofted six against pacer Arafat Sunny and a crunchy cover drive to a full pitched deliver from Mustafizur.

However, Rohit, going for a booming drive, edged one to the keeper (India 39/1). The wicket took Mustafizur’s tally to 12 victims in only his third outing.

The pair of Dhawan and No.3 batsman Virat Kohli then steadied the innings as they put on 75 runs for the second wicket in 12.5 overs. Kohli (25) began sedately but then fell to a Shakib Al Hasan delivery, getting bowled while attempting a big sweep.

Dhawan, unfazed with the loss of the two wickets, continued belting the bowlers to the ropes with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni by his side who again promoted himself to the No.4 spot after batting at that position in the second ODI. Dhoni was aggressive from the very start and steered India to 145/2 at the halfway stage.

Dhawan then fell after adding a few more runs to the total as he pulled one straight to mid-wicket off a Mortaza delivery in the 27th over.

His dismissal prompted Dhoni to take the batting powerplay. He teamed up with Ambati Rayadu (44) to score 28 runs during the five-over spell without the loss of any wicket.

Rayadu settled in nicely and was inching towards a half century but was controversially adjudged caught behind off a Mortaza delivery. Rayadu was unhappy with the decision, gesticulating that the ball had hit his leg on its way to the keeper. Television replays seemed to justify his displeasure.

The experienced Raina took over the charge after Rayadu’s exit and gave the Indian innings momentum with some meaty blows and, despite Dhoni’s untimely dismissal in the 46th over, guided the team to a challenging total.

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