Colombo, March 14: India stand-in skipper and opening batsman Rohit Sharma finally achieved his form and young Washington Sundar shined with the ball yet again as Men In Blue registered an easy 17-run win over Bangladesh in the fifth T20I here on Wednesday (March 14).
Defending a daunting total of 176/3, an inexperienced Indian bowling attack ensured they continue their unbeaten run against Bangladesh in the T20Is. It was their seventh successive win as they restricted Bangla Tigers to 159/6.
Washington Sundar (3/22) was the pick of the bowlers and it was the attacking bowling from the 18-year-old in the powerplays that set the tone for India, who were defending a huge total. The young Tamil Nadu spinner once again struck in the first over and cleaned up Litton Das cheaply.
Update to some stats about Washington Sundar @Sundarwashi5 I'd posted during the last match:— Arun Gopalakrishnan (@statanalyst) March 14, 2018
Washington Sundar's wickets in T20 #cricket:
Wickets of Right-Hand Batsmen - 8
Wickets of Left-Hand Batsmen - 20#LeftHandersNemesis #NidahasTrophy #BANvIND
In his second over Washington got rid of dangerous looking Tamim Iqbal (27 off 19) and later dismissed Soumya Sarkar (1) to put his team at the top. All three of his wickets came in clean bowled as the youngster varied his line and length shrewdly.
Barring the hero of the previous match's hero Mushfiqur Rahim (72* off 55) and Sabbir Rahman (27) no other Bangladesh batsman could rise to the occasion in the run chase. Mushfiqur tried to take the side home with his second-consecutive half-century but he failed to get any support from the other end as it wasn't too easy scoring on a pitch getting slower.
Shardul Thakur (1/37), Yuzvendra Chahal (1/21) and Vijay Shankar (0/28) too played their roles well while young Mohammed Siraj, who replaced Jaydev Unadkat tonight, once again had a poor outing with the ball. The Hyderabadi-pacer leaked 50 runs from his quota of 4 overs and managed to get a wicket.
Overall, the inexperienced Indian bowling attack performed well, barring that first over blip from Shardul and Siraj's poor outing.
Earlier, Rohit Sharma seemed to have regained his form as he played a patient 89-run knock off 61 balls. The right-handed batsman, who was under scrutiny for his consistently poor performance with the bat, constructed his innings well and went on to notch up his thirteenth T20I half-century. The Mumbaikar, who failed to convert his fifty into his third T20I century, smashed five boundaries and many sixes before getting run out on the final ball of the innings.
Rohit along with his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan (35 off 27) stitched a 70-run stand for the first wicket. After Dhawan's departure, veteran batsman Suresh Raina (47 off 30) played yet another fine innings and took his team to a huge total.
Together, he and Rohit put up a stand of 102 runs and targetted Bangladesh bowlers to keep the run rate above 8 per over. Raina once again played a brilliant knock and quickly added runs from his end and at the same time gave Rohit the opportunity to regain his form and touch.
The southpaw smashed five boundaries and two sixes before getting caught in the deep by Soumya Sarkar off Rubel Hussain. But by the time he was dismissed India had already posted a big total.
Fine day for India. B'desh lost the plot early. But spirited performance by Mushfiqur. He can do a snake dance even if his team hasn't won!— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) March 14, 2018
With this win, India have registered a third successive win in the series and reached into the final. They would now play either hosts Sri Lanka or Bangladesh in the final on March 18. The two teams would face each other in the final round robin match on Friday (March 17) and the winners would meet see India in the finals.