India 166-6 (Sharma 83) beat
Bangladesh 121-7 (Sabbir 44) by 45 runs
First Match, Mirpur, Asia Cup
A blistering knock of 83 runs from Rohit Sharma and a three-wicket haul from Ashish Nehra helped India defeat Bangladesh by 45 runs after restricting the hosts to 121 for seven in a chase of 167 runs in the first match of the 2016 Asia Cup in Mirpur.
Bangladesh won the toss and opted to bowl first on a green pitch. India were rattled early and lost Shikhar Dhawan (2) and Virat Kohli (8) before scoring 31 for two in the powerplay phase.
Suresh Raina (13) struck two boundaries but was castled by Mahmudullah (1-9) leaving India reeling at 43 for three after eight overs.
Yuvraj Singh (15) and Sharma (83) staged a recovery with a 55-run stand for the fourth wicket. After being dropped by Shakib Al Hasan (1-15) in the 11th over, Sharma went on to smash three fours and a six off the next five balls he faced while Singh went on to complete 1000 runs in T20Is.
Sharma continued to play at a decent pace and brought up his fifty in the 15th over but Singh failed to convert his start and holed out to deep midwicket.
Sharma and Hardik Pandya (31) upped the ante towards the death and plundered 48 runs in the next three overs.
Sharma hit a couple of fours and as many sixes while Pandya struck three boundaries and a six. India crossed the 150-run mark in the 19th over but lost both Sharma and Pandya to Al-Amin Hossain (3-37) in the final over.
MS Dhoni (8 not out) finished the innings by smashing a six over deep square leg, boosting India’s total to 166 for six in 20 overs.
Nehra (3-23) started off well with the ball for India, conceding just nine runs in his first two overs and accounting for the wicket of Mohammad Mithun (1).
Jasprit Bumrah (1-23) also shined at the start giving away just 10 runs in his first two overs while getting Soumya Sarkar (11) to feather a nick through to the keeper.
The duo bowled two more tight overs as India restricted Bangladesh to 31 for two in the powerplay. Pandya (1-23) and Ravichandran Ashwin (1-23) continued to keep things tight as well not providing any respite to the Bangladesh batsmen.
In the 10th over, Imrul Kayes (14) holed out to Singh at deep square leg leaving the hosts to get 116 runs from the last 10 overs.
Sabbir Rahman (44) who saw himself in nicely struck two sixes in the next two overs. In the 13th over, Shakib (3) was run out after Sabbir failed to respond a call for a single.
With the required rate going over 14 runs an over, Sabbir attempted to up the ante by taking on Pandya but only managed a top edge which was taken by Dhoni.
A double strike by Nehra in the 17th over saw the back of Mahmudullah (7) and Mashrafe Mortaza (0).
With 65 runs needed from 18 balls, Bangladesh could not get past the finish line and only managed 121 for seven in 20 overs, giving India a 45-run victory.
Nehra was the pick of the bowlers while Sharma picked up the man of the match award.
Bangladesh will go on to play United Arab Emirates next on 26th February while India will lock horns with their arch-rivals Pakistan in their next encounter on 27th February.
© Cricket World 2016