T20 World Cup: Rahul, Virat star as India secure tense five-run win over Bangladesh, go on top of Group 2

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Adelaide– Matches between India and Bangladesh always bring out drama and emotions which leaves players and fans on the edge of their seats. On Wednesday, at the Adelaide Oval, rain added another dose of thrill in the Group 2 Super 12 match in Men’s T20 World Cup.

Eventually, India prevailed over Bangladesh by five runs to go on top of Group 2 and inch closer towards a spot in the semifinals. Fifties from KL Rahul and Virat Kohli (64 not out), along with Suryakumar Yadav’s 16-ball 30, took India to a massive 184/6 in 20 overs.

Bangladesh seemed to be cruising to the target of 185 with Litton Das making a stunning 27-ball 60 as they reached 66 for no loss in first seven overs. His onslaught began with three fours off Arshdeep Singh in the second over.

He then teared into Bhuvneshwar Kumar, taking him for a six and consecutive fours, before scooping a six over his shoulder off the pacer over fine leg in the fifth over. Mohammed Shami was next to be taken to the cleaners, as Das heaved him over backward square leg for four.

He brought up fifty in 21 balls with a top-edge on the pull going over deep square leg fence and followed up with an inside-out loft over extra cover for four as Bangladesh made 66 for no loss in seven overs before rain arrived, ahead by 17 runs on DLS method.

The 50-minute rain changed the equation to 151 in 16 overs. It got the momentum to shift in India’s favour as Rahul’s brilliant run-out of Das while going for a second run post rain break.

Najmul Hossain Shanto, who had best seat in the house for Das’ blitz, hit a brace of boundaries, but holed out to long-on off Shami. Arshdeep made a double strike as Afif Hossain and Shakib Al Hasan fell while trying to clear the short boundary.

Wickets continued to tumble for Bangladesh as Yasir Ali and Mosaddek Hossain fell to Hardik Pandya in a bid to go big. Though Nurul Hasan and Taskin Ahmed hit six boundaries in the last three overs, Arshdeep delivered brilliant yorkers in the final over as India managed to hold their nerve for a tight win.

Bangladesh could make only 79 runs in the remaining nine overs, losing six wickets and ending up at 145/6 in 16 overs. Earlier, pushed into batting first, Rahul was elegant in his stroke-play, hitting three fours and four sixes at a strike-rate of 156.25 to shrug off his lean run.

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 Suryakumar and Ravichandran Ashwin hitting a cameo of 13 not out.

Rahul straightaway did not look in great touch in the first two overs. But an impressive pick-up shot into the deep square leg fence off Shoriful Islam for six him 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, with a fantastically-timed square cut, going flat over cover point for six being the standout.

From the other end, Kohli took on Ahmed with boundaries off outer edges. The duo then took 24 runs off Shoriful in the ninth over. Kohli kickstarted 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 reached his fifty in 31 balls, but gave a simple catch to short fine leg off Shakib.

Suryakumar got off the mark by flaying a cut over point off Shakib and teared into Mahmud by 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, missing the slower ball while trying to cut off the left-arm spinner.

Kohli hanged around to get his third fifty of the tournament in 37 balls even as Pandya, Dinesh Karthik and Axar Patel fell in quick succession from the other end. He swivelled off his wrists to hit a four over deep square leg, and ended the over off Mahmud 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, enough to get two points on a dramatic night.

Brief Scores: India 184/6 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 64 not out, KL Rahul 50; Hasan Mahmud 3/47, Shakib Al Hasan 2/33) beat Bangladesh 145/6 in 16 overs (Litton Das 60, Nurul Hasan 25 not out; Hardik Pandya 2/28, Arshdeep Singh 2/38) by 5 runs (via DLS method) (IANS)

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