ASIA CUP 2023
Shakib Al Hasan rescued Bangladesh after early blows © AFP
Contrasting half-centuries from Shakib Al Hasan and Towhid Hridoy, and a lower-order rearguard act helped Bangladesh to a par score of 265/8 in their dead-rubber Asia Cup 2023 Super Fours clash against India in Colombo.
Some poor shot selection triggered a top-order collapse as Bangladesh slipped to 28/3 shortly after being put in to bat first. Shardul Thakur picked two of those, while Mohammed Shami got the early breakthrough for India when he got a good length ball to nip back in, brush Litton Das’s pads before crashing into the off-stump. Tanzid Hasan was undone with a short ball from Thakur that he tried to pull, only to drag a bottom edge onto the stumps. Anamul Haque never looked at ease in his 11-ball stay and eventually perished, top-edging a short ball to the keeper.
Albeit struggling, Mehidy Hasan Miraz put together a partnership with Shakib to lead a brief recovery before throwing it away, poking at one outside off-stump to offer Rohit Sharma a low catch. Bangladesh were staring down the barrel at 59/4 in 14 overs but Hridoy joined hands with his captain to bail the team out with a 101-run stand.
Leading from the front, Shakib made full use of the reprieve he got on 28 – when KL Rahul put down a tough edge behind the stumps – and went on to notch up his 55th ODI fifty in the rescue act. Hridoy, on the other hand, picked up pace after a watchful start and upped the ante as he showed great footwork to tonk two over the ropes off Tilak Varma, forcing him off the attack. Shakib meted out similar treatment to Axar Patel at the other end, bringing up his half-century with the first one that he deposited over midwicket.
However, Thakur struck off his first ball after drinks to end the blossoming century partnership. On 80, Shakib ended up dragging an inside edge onto his leg-stump and left the crease bitterly disappointed with himself. Ravindra Jadeja also struck off his first ball since the break, trapping Shamim Hossain LBW to give India a second wicket in quick succession and register his 200th in ODI cricket.
Nasum Ahmed provided the impetus at one end as Hridoy marched on to a 77-ball fifty with a cut to backward point. The celebration was short-lived though as he pulled a short one from Shami straight to deep midwicket an over later to fall on 54. Nasum took the lead and kept the odd boundary and over coming in his run-a-ball 44 that was instrumental in Bangladesh picking up some much-needed pace in the death overs.
Despite this being an inconsequential contest , Bangladesh needed their tail to chip in and it did not disappoint. While Mahedi Hasan (29* off 23) showed excellent running between wickets to keep India’s bowlers on their toes, debutant Tanzim Hasan Sakib dealt in boundaries in his brief 8-ball cameo of 14* as Bangladesh collected 93 runs in the last 12 overs.
Brief scores: Bangladesh 265/8 in 50 overs (Shakib Al Hasan 80, Towhid Hridoy 54; Shardul Thakur 2-65, Mohammed Shami 2-32) vs India