Shakib Al Hasan starred with a sensational fifer while Mehidy Hasan Miraz held his nerve to slam an unbeaten cameo and guide Bangladesh to a famous one-wicket victory over India in a low-scoring thriller of the ODI series opener at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium (SBNCS) in Mirpur on Sunday.
In a match that ebbed and flowed, Bangladesh seemed to be on their way to chasing 187 after Shakib’s 5-36 and Ebadot Hossain’s 4-47 bowled India for a paltry 186 in 41.2 overs. But the Indian bowlers, led by Mohammed Siraj and Washington Sundar, triggered a Bangladesh collapse from 128/4 to 136/9 in a span of 26 balls.
With the hosts looking down and out, the result seemed like a foregone conclusion. But Mehidy, mostly farming the strike, had other ideas — slicing short balls from debutant Kuldeep Sen over the third man for a brace of sixes in the 41st over. He had luck on his side in the next over as wicketkeeper K.L Rahul dropped his catch at 15 off Shardul Thakur and Sundar did not go for a catch at third man on the very next ball.
Deepak Chahar’s comeback 44th over did not change fortunes for India as Mehidy scooped and flayed over point for back-to-back boundaries. India had fielding lapses in the last two balls, conceding an extra run to get Mehidy back on strike, while a misfield by Sundar at the deep gave him a boundary.
Mustafizur, who began the partnership with a nice punch to give Bangladesh a boundary after 105 balls, glanced Thakur through fine leg for four as the equation for the win came down to 10. Mehidy took Bangladesh to striking distance of a victory by slicing a short ball from Chahar in the 46th over past third man.
A no-ball added with a single and a tight run later, Mehidy finished off the chase with a punch through cover to give Bangladesh an unforgettable come-from-behind win with four overs to spare. He was unbeaten at 38, with Mustafizur being 10 not out as India wilted under pressure in the last six overs.
Earlier, Bangladesh lost Najmul Hossain Shanto, who was caught at first slip off Chahar on the very first ball. Siraj was rewarded for his persistence as Anamul Haque flicked to mid-wicket. Litton Das pounced on short balls from Kuldeep for boundaries, but Rahul grabbed a sharp catch down leg as he tried to flick off Sundar.
Shakib hit Shahbaz for back-to-back boundaries, but mistimed a drive off Sundar and was caught by Kohli flying to his right at cover, ending a 48-run stand. Rahim and Mahmudullah constantly rotated the strike in their 33-run stand, before a consistent delivery trapped the latter lbw.
Siraj got one to seam in as Rahim chopped onto stumps. Sen had Afif Hossain caught in the deep for his maiden international wicket and had another scalp in the over when Ebadot was out hit-wicket, disturbing his off-stump while trying to flick. When Siraj trapped Hasan Mahmud lbw, an Indian win looked imminent, till Mehidy and Mustafizur hung around to snatch a heroic victory from the jaws of defeat for Bangladesh.
In the first innings, Shakib varied his pace, and lengths and used the crease well to spin a web around the Indian batters while Ebadot was superb in his short balls. For India, Rahul made a fine 73 off 70 balls but did not get any support from the rest of the batters.
The first signs of spin were visible when Mehidy beat Dhawan’s outside edge on his very first ball and then took out the left-hander in his next over, going past the reverse sweep to hit the stumps off chest and glove.
Rohit hit a six and two glorious fours before his stay was ended by Shakib, who got his slider that went on with the arm to rattle the stumps. Two balls later, Shakib flighted one outside the off-stump to entice an uppish drive from Kohli and was caught by Das flying to his right at short extra cover.
Ebadot troubled Shreyas Iyer with a barrage of short balls before the right-hander tried to hook a short ball and the top edge was caught by the keeper. Rahul cashed on rare freebies from Bangladesh when he swept off the spinners and was fluent in his pulls, cuts and slashes whenever the fast bowlers offered width. He got his fifty in 49 balls when he slashed through backward point for a boundary.
From the other end, Sundar was dropped on 12, survived a near mix-up, and was caught-behind dismissal on review. But he couldn’t make it big as he reverse-swept straight to the third man off Shakib, breaking the 60-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Shakib would take a good low catch at cover by Shahbaz off Ebadot and return in the next over to take out Shardul’s off-stump and trap Chahar lbw in a span of four balls to complete his fifer. Rahul tried to take India closer to 200-mark by slicing Shakib through third man, before lofting and flicking off Ebadot over mid-off and fine-leg respectively.
But the pacer had the last laugh as Rahul pulled off a short ball, but the extra bounce took the top-edge to third man. Ebadot ended India’s innings by having Siraj caught off a short ball.
Brief scores: India 186 all out in 41.2 overs (K.L Rahul 73, Rohit Sharma 27; Shakib Al Hasan 5-36, Ebadot Hossain 4-47) lost to Bangladesh 187/9 in 46 overs (Litton Das 41, Mehidy Hasan Miraz 38 not out; Mohammed Siraj 3-32, Washington Sundar 2-17) by one wicket