The cricketing world had deemed India to be lucky as they drew Bangladesh in the quarter-finals of the 2015 World Cup. They had momentarily forgotten the fact that the Indian team was on a winning streak from last World Cup as well as the fact that they had taken 60 wickets in six matches this edition (with the same bowling lineup except a replacement in one match). The Indian team extended the streak by one more match at MCG by a convincing win over their neighbors.
The openers started steadily, thanks to the profligacy of the opposition captain (Mortaza) who was off-color but did not take himself off the attack. The space given to the openers was good not only for Rohit to settle down but also have a steady run-rate going. Once Shakib and Rubel got together, the pressure started showing on the Indian batsmen. Three wickets fell in no time, more because of the pressure of non-scoring fast enough than the conditions. Rohit was determined to cash in on this opportunity as is his wont against competition below the top Six.
|Photo Courtesy: Cricinfo|
Raina joined him to put a match-winning partnership for his side. The Indian team is more confident because of the experience in such situations, better skills as well as conditioning. The Bangla team is improving but a long way to go. Raina decided to give the charge from 36th over when the score was 155 for 3. India almost doubled the score at the end thanks to the exploits of Raina, Rohit and a cameo from Sir Jadeja. Dhoni had a rare failure but that did not stop the charge by much.
Even though Bangladesh had a better batting lineup compared to their bowling, the start was shaky. Umesh Yadav had been dominated by his compatriots in this tournament even though he had done a decent job as well (Did you know that he is on top of the list of catches in this tournament?). His speed as well as control was good enough for the Bangla batsmen. They were hurried and he led the way when Shami was hit in the beginning. The haul was poetic justice to the paceman who has come a long way in this tournament. Ashwin too did a great holding job bowling against Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib but was unlucky not to have any catches.
Overall, the Indian pace bowlers picked wickets again by the generous use of short ball. Will they continue in same fashion in the semifinal? Probably not. Going by the first quarterfinal, it looks like a pitch of subcontinental type and the Indians will fancy their chances against whoever they play. All parts of the team (fielding, bowling and batting) did their job well - what more did MSD wish for? Dhoni himself caught a couple of great catches to round off the evening. Next is the semifinal at SCG.
We definitely Wont Give It Back!