Virat Kohli celebrated his record of being the leading run-getter in T20 World Cups with an unbeaten 64 off 44 balls, while KL Rahul shrugged off his lean run with a 32-ball 50 in guiding India to a massive 184/6 against Bangladesh in their Group 2 match of Super 12s at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday.
On a pitch where bowlers found spongy bounce and swing, Rahul was elegant in his stroke-play, hitting three fours and four sixes at a strike-rate of 156.25 to come back into form.
He also shared a 67-run stand off 37 balls for the second wicket with Kohli, who continued his sizzling touch in the tournament by hitting eight fours and a six at a strike-rate of 145.45.
The duo were also supported by wristy strokeplay of new top-ranked T20I batter Suryakumar Yadav’s 16-ball 30 and Ravichandran Ashwin hitting a cameo of 13 not out. For Bangladesh, pacer Hasan Mahmud took three wickets for 47 runs while captain Shakib Al Hasan took two wickets for 33 runs in their respective four overs.
Pushed into batting first, Rahul straightaway did not look in great touch, playing and missing a couple of deliveries in the first two overs. But an impressive pick-up shot into the deep square leg fence off Shoriful Islam for six got Rahul to get going.
Though Rohit Sharma cut uppishly straight to gully off Hasan Mahmud just an over after the pacer dropped the Indian skipper at fine leg, Rahul was unperturbed in attacking the bowler.
He slashed him over third man for four and then produced the shot of the innings, a fantastically-timed square cut, going flat over cover point for six.
From the other end, Kohli looked to take on Taskin Ahmed by getting successive boundaries off outer edges flying past cover and slip fielders. After Kohli and Rahul took a four each off Mustafizur Rahman and Shakib Al Hasan, the duo then took 24 runs off Shoriful in the ninth over.
Kohli kick-started the over with a gorgeous straight drive for four, before Rahul stood tall to dispatch a length ball, called a no-ball, over long-on for six. On the next legal ball, he sliced high over deep point for six, before going deep in the crease to slash past point for four.
Rahul would go on to get his fifty in 31 balls, but he fell in an attempt to lap off Shakib in the 10th over, as short fine leg took a simple catch. Suryakumar got off the mark by flaying a cut over point off Shakib and teared into Mahmud in the 13th over, lofting drives over extra cover twice, before slicing a drive through backward point for three fours in a 14-run over.
His sparkling knock was cut short by Shakib, who bowled a slower ball on length in the 14th over, which Suryakumar tried to cut, but missed it and saw his stumps rattled. Kohli maintained the tempo by hitting Rahman for successive fours in the end of the 15th over.
Kohli marched forward to get his third fifty of the tournament in 37 balls, despite running out of partners from the other end. Hardik Pandya picked out backward point, Dinesh Karthik was run-out, and Axar Patel chipped a catch to cover.
Against Mahmud in the 19th over, Kohli swivelled off his wrists to hit a four over deep square leg, and ended the over with a magical six coming off the straight bat lofted down the ground. In the final over, Ashwin pulled Shoriful over deep square leg for six and drilled a clean drive past mid-off as 27 runs came in the last two overs.