Bangladesh hit back with double strike

:: Peoples Time Online ::

Defending a moderate target of 167, Bangladesh have started well removing two of Indian batsmen.

Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan started well, hammering sixes in the early overs, but skipper Shakib Al Hasan did not take much time to strike back. Shakib removed Dhawan in the third over after the Indian batsman gave away his wicket easily.

Rubel Hossain, who has been magnificent throughout the tournament picked up Suresh Raina, thanks to a review taken by Mushfiqur.

India skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and decided to field first in the final match of Nidahas Trophy.

From being a one-sided affair, the India-Bangladesh clash has become a more tightly fought contest. Having won three of their four matches in the Nidahas Trophy, India go into the final as favourites. This despite the absence of several key players, including captain Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni. India, however, will have to be wary of Bangladesh’s ‘tenacity’, as wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik said on the eve of the final.

Most T20s come down to which team copes better with pressure. While Bangladesh have relied on their senior batsmen to bail them out, India have banked on youth. That their stand-in captain Rohit Sharma has also hit form bodes well for the side. Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, and Manish Pandey have made cameos but the lower-middle order, which is largely untested is a cause for concern. If the chase gets tough, can Vijay Shankar and Washington Sundar step up with the bat?

The two allrounders, however, have been impressive with the ball and have complemented quick Shardul Thakur and legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

Bangladesh’s batting has revolved around Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah, who both shepherded successful chases against Sri Lanka and put the hosts out of the tri-series. Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das have shown flashes of brilliance but the pressure continues to mount on Soumya Sarkar and Sabbir Rahman.

Bangladesh’s bowling, meanwhile, has been a mixed bag. Mustafizur Rahman is their leading wicket-taker with six wickets but it is Rubel Hossain who has looked more threatening. Offspinner Mehidy Hasan, on the other hand, has managed only one wicket in 15 overs.

(ESPNcricinfo)

Peoples Time/AA

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