ICC World Cup 2019: KL Rahul, MS Dhoni and wristspinners star in India’s comfortable win over Bangladesh


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Indian players walk off the field after their win over Bangladesh in the Cricket World Cup warm-up match at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. (AP Photo)

Centuries from KL Rahul (108 off 99 balls) and MS Dhoni (113 off 78 balls) along with with a clinical performance by the wrist spinners helped India defeat Bangladesh by a comfortable margin of 95 runs in their second World Cup warm-up match on Tuesday. After their disastrous performance against New Zealand in the first practice match, Kohli and Co. bounced back in fine style. There were a lot of positives for India with the likes of Dhoni, Rahul, and Kohli hitting a purple patch with the bat, while Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendara Chahal chipping in at the wickets column.

In reply, Bangladesh never got going apart from a promising 120-run partnership between Liton Das (73 off 90 balls) and Mushfiqur Rahim (90 off 94 balls). None of the other Bangladesh batsmen could stick around for long, however, after the wickets of Liton and Mushfiqur, as their innings was wrapped up for 264 in 49.3 overs.

Toss: Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bowl against India.

First innings: Batting first, India were off to a poor start with Shikhar Dhawan departing early (5) after being adjudged plumb in-front by Mustafizur Rahaman. Rohit Sharma struggled during his brief stay (19 off 42 balls) even as skipper Virat Kohli (47 off 46 balls) looked solid at the other end. At one stage India were 102/4 (22 overs) but from there on it was the partnership of Rahul and Dhoni (164 runs) which set up the platform for Dhoni’s late assault in the final overs which took the scoreboard past 350 as India ended on an imposing 359/7.

Second innings: Chasing a mammoth target, Bangladesh got off to a steady start with Liton Das (73) and Soumya Sarkar (25) putting 49 on the board. However, Jasprit Bumrah’s double blow put the Tigers on the backfoot. Bumrah produced a brilliant yorker to dismiss Shakib Al Hasan for a duck. Similar to Rahul and Dhoni’s stand, Das along with Mushfiqur Rahim stitched a 120-run stand to bring some stability to the run-chase. However, with Das’ departure, the onus was left on Rahim (who ultimately succumbed to scoreboard pressure. None of the other batsmen gave him enough support as wickets fell at regular intervals. Spin was once again the potent weapon for the men in blue as Kuldeep Yadav (3/47) and Yuzvendra Chahal (3/55) were the wreckers in chief.

Gamechanger: After another insipid show from the openers, it was the partnership between Rahul and Dhoni which helped team India counter-attack a potent Bangladesh bowling line-up. Rahul and Dhoni added 164 runs with their contrasting approaches, which yielded favourable results for the title contenders.

Captains speak:

Virat Kohli: I think the biggest positive to come out was the way KL Rahul batted at four. It is important that he gets runs and he is a sound player to get the scoreboard ticking.

Mashrafe Mortaza: We have spent fours weeks here. So, a few players have some niggles. Looks alright (about his fitness), but we need to look after our bowlers.

Scorecard: IND 359/7 (50.0) | BAN 264-all out (49.3)

(With inputs from PTI)

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