Mirpur (Bangladesh), Feb 24 (IANS) Rohit Sharma’s flamboyant innings of 83 runs not just took India out of trouble, but also helped them reach a competitive total of 166/6 in the Asia Cup opener against Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium here on Wednesday.
Rohit got very good support from Yuvraj Singh (15) and then all-rounder Hardik Pandya (31) and the trio rescued the visiting team who were tottering at 42/3 in the eighth over.
Bangladesh pacer Al-Amin Hossain bowled well to take three wickets in the opener of the continental tournament which is being played in the Twenty20 format for the first time.
India were put into bat on what was a very green top which turned out to be low and slow with the ball not coming on to the bat. This made the Indian batsmen struggle early on and misjudged the pace of the wicket to get out with wayward looking shots.
First to go was opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan (2), who was bowled by Hossain. Vice-captain Virat Kohli (8) did not get to the pitch of the ball to be caught at mid-off off hosts skipper Mashrafe bin Mortaza.
Left-hander Suresh Raina looked dangerous after hitting two boundaries but he was also bowled for 13.
India were in more than a spot of bother at 42/3 when opening batsman Rohit Sharma stuck it out in the middle with Yuvraj to strike a 55-run fourth wicket partnership which consolidated the innings.
Rohit was the aggressor, smashing seven boundaries and three sixes in his 55-ball innings.
After Yuvraj departed, Pandya took over and he upped the ante with his 18-ball 31 cameo, which included four boundaries and a huge six over deep mid-wicket.
Eventually, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni smashed a six over deep square leg to take India to 166/6.