Saturday 19 February 2011 

India Open World Cup With Comprehensive Victory

India Open World Cup With Comprehensive Victory
India Open World Cup With Comprehensive Victory
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

India 370-4 (Sehwag 175, Kohli 100no) beat
Bangladesh 283-9 (Tamim Iqbal 70) by 87 runs
ICC Cricket World Cup Group B, Mirpur

Video Bulletin:
Bangladesh Outclassed
Audio: Virender Sehwag | Shakib Al Hasan

Virender Sehwag broke a host of records and Virat Kohli also scored a century as India opened the Cricket World Cup 2011 in style with a 87-run win over Bangladesh.

Sehwag cracked 175 in 140 balls - a new career-best - while Kohli was unbeaten on exactly 100 as India set a new ground record in Mirpur of  370 for four to put fellow co-hosts Bangladesh in big trouble.

Bangladesh made a flying start to their run chase but were inevitably unable to maintain a scoring rate high enough to remain in contention, eventually closing on 283 for nine.

India, and Sehwag in particular, dominated from the first ball - literally, as Sehwag dismissed the tournament's first delivery for four - and he continued in the same vein, going on to hit 14 fours and five sixes in an outstanding innings.

He was brutal and no Bangladesh bowler was spared with the spinners coming in for serious treatment being lofted continually down the ground. Following an injury, he proved more dangerous as he simply tried to hit everything out of the ground - often succeeding.

He hardly let the early run out of Sachin Tendulkar (28) affect him - although Tendulkar was probably at fault as he charged off for a single before realising that Shakib Al Hasan had dived and picked up the ball. With both men at Sehwag's end, Mushfiqur Rahim had an easy task to take off the bails.

Gautam Gambhir then batted fluently to make 39 in 39 balls before he missed a straight delivery from Mahmudullah and was bowled, ending a second-wicket partnership of 83 with Sehwag.

Then the real carnage began as Sehwag expanded to show his full array of strokes and Kohli batted beautifully - almost unnoticed in the shadow of Sehwag's brutality - hitting eight fours and two sixes. The pair added 203 for the third wicket.

Sehwag's hopes of emulating his compatriot Tendulkar and scoring a double-century were finally crushed when he was bowled by Shakib, who was by a long way Bangladesh's most successful bowler - returning one for 61 in ten overs.

Kohli faced just 83 balls, scoring his fifth ODI century to remain unbeaten after Yusuf Pathan (8) fell from the last ball of the innings. Sehwag's innings of 175 was the highest World Cup score since 1999 and equalled Kapil Dev in fourth place overall of World Cup high scores while India's total was the fifth-highest in World Cup history.

Bangladesh opener Imrul Kayes then led the charge as the home side fought back, hitting seven fours on his way to 34 in 29 balls before he was bowled by Munaf Patel.

In the early stages of their innings, they were actually better placed than where India had been at the corresponding time in their innings - racing to their half-century inside five overs as India's opening bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth leaked 53 runs in his five overs.

Tamim Iqbal, who had taken a back seat when Kayes shot out of the blocks, went on to make 70 in 86 balls with three fours and a six while Junaid Siddique (37) and Shakib Al Hasan (55 in 50 balls) also made useful contributions.

However, chasing such a monumental target, those contributions needed to be both far more substantial and quicker and long before the innings was over, it was clear that Bangladesh had been outclassed and a marker laid down by tournament favourites India.

Siddique was smartly stumped by Mahendra Singh Dhoni as India's slow bowlers got in on the act, Harbhajan Singh taking that wicket and Yusuf Pathan having Shakib caught in the deep by Harbhajan.

Pace prevailed again when Zaheer Khan had Mushfiqur Rahim (25) caught by Yuvraj Singh and Munaf struck again to bowl Mahmudullah for six.

Raqibul Hasan provided some late cheers for the home support with an unbeaten innings of 28 in as many balls.

Naeem Islam made just two before he was trapped in front by a Patel delivery that stayed low and the same fate befell Abdur Razzak (1) as Khan ended his spell in fine style to return two for 40 from his ten overs.

Patel, who had removed both Kayes and Iqbal, finished with excellent figures of four for 48 as Bangladesh just managed to bat out their 50 overs with Rubel Hossain on one not out.

Bangladesh's next match is against Ireland on 25th March while India aim to make it two wins out of two when they play England on 27th February.

© Cricket World 2011

 
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