Rohit Sharma’s dream run with the bat and Jasprit Bumrah’s brilliance at the death helped India beat Bangladesh by 28 runs to clinch a semifinal berth in the ongoing ICC World Cup at Birmingham on Tuesday.
It was Sharma’s (104 off 92 balls) record-equalling fourth century in a single edition and his 180-run opening stand with K.L. Rahul (77 off 92 balls) that laid the foundation for a par-score of 314 for nine after India opted to bat.
The chase wasn’t impossible but Shakib Al Hasan (66 off 74 balls) didn’t get any notable support from the other end as Bangladesh were bundled out for 286 in 48 overs.
But Mohammed Saifuddin’s 51 not out off 38 balls did raise slim hopes of a victory before Bumrah (4/55), with his toe-crushers, dashed Bangladesh’s hopes.
Hardik Pandya (3/60 in 10 overs) also showed his worth in limited overs.India with 13 points from eight games will now hope to beat Sri Lanka in their final game and finish on top with 15 points, in case Australia (14 from 8 games) lose their last league match against South Africa.
Bangladesh can go up to maximum nine points if they beat Pakistan but their last four hopes were dashed as Australia, India, New Zealand (11 from 8 games) and England (10 points from 8) are already above them.
Ironically, on a day when Sharma’s record 26th ODI hundred ensured a seventh semifinal appearance for his side, Bangladesh were left high and dry despite Shakib’s coveted record double of 500 plus runs and 10 plus wickets in a single edition of the World Cup.
For Indian bowlers, it was another good day in office after English nightmare as Yuzvendra Chahal (1/50 off 10 overs) found his mojo back with a controlled effort while Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/51 in 9 overs) also bowled a steady first spell in the company of ever-reliable Bumrah.
Shakib also couldn’t play in his free-flowing manner as there wasn’t a single half-century stand for the first five wickets.
Sabbir Rahman (36) and Saifuddin added 66 for the seventh wicket but Bumrah, coming on for his third spell, ended their hopes.
Earlier, another batting lower-order failure at the death saw India score only 63 runs in the last 10 overs after Sharma’s century and Rishabh Pant’s (48 off 40 balls) flamboyance had taken India to 251 for 4 in 40 overs.