In the 2nd T20I between India and Bangladesh at the Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium in Rajkot, both the teams were looking to fulfil different objectives.
While Bangladesh were seeking their maiden T20I series win against India, the hosts were eyeing to stay alive in the series after going down in the first T20I in Delhi. However, in the end, an annihilating win for India now sees the series well-poised for a fitting finale at Nagpur on November 10.
On a track which was tailor-made for batsmen, Rohit Sharma won the toss and asked the opposition to bat considering the dew factor and backing his team’s strength to chase down any possible total.
Batting first, Bangladesh openers, Liton Das and Mohammad Naim, began aggressively and capitalised on the first power play to muster 54 runs.
However, soon after, Indian spinners struck in succession to slow the pace of the game. Both the openers were dismissed in a span of three overs as the hosts saw an opening to bounce back.
With some consistent lines, bowlers forced Bangladesh to commit errors as Indians got the most prized wicket of Mushfiqur Rahim in the 13th over to dent their hopes of posting a huge total.
Skipper Mahmudullah did try to up the ante, but he perished on a slower bouncer off Deepak Chahar. The visitors even lacked the final impetus in the last few overs as they finished with an under-par score of 153 on the board.
Indian spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar, along with Chahar were the stars with the ball.
Chasing a modest 154 to level the series, Indian openers made full use of the conditions and went all guns blazing from the first ball.
Skipper Rohit Sharma was the aggressor of the two as he kept clearing the 30-yard circle with ease, making a real mockery of the entire run-chase. India stacked up 63 runs in the first six overs to set the platform for an easy chase.
Sharma was the chief tormentor with his 43-ball stay at the crease. He took the game away from the opposition with his exuberant innings of 85 to register his 18th half-century including 6 fours and 6 sixes. The Indian openers added 118 for the first wicket before Shikhar Dhawan was clean-bowled on 31.
India cruised to a 8-wicket win as Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul completed the formalities in the end with more than four overs to spare. For his blistering knock, Rohit was named the Man of the Match.
Both the teams will now travel to Nagpur for the final T20I of the 3-match series to be played on Nov 10. There’s no doubt that India start as clear favourites even though they won’t mistake to take their opposition any lightly, especially after a loss in the first encounter.
Cover picture credits: Cricketcountry.com