Captain Shakib Al Hasan and Towhid Hridoy hit half-centuries before the lower-order batters stepped up in carrying Bangladesh to 265/8 against India in a Super Four match of the Asia Cup at the R Premadasa Stadium on Friday.
At 59/4, with no Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh were in trouble. Shakib stepped up with his calculative play to top score with 80 and shared a 101-run partnership with Hridoy, who made a lovely 54.
The lower-order of Nasum Ahmed, Mahedi Hasan, and Tanzim Hasan Sakib were impressive in hitting 44, 29 not out, and 14 not respectively against an Indian bowling line-up minus Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, and Mohammed Siraj to set a target of 266 for the Rohit Sharma-led side to win the match.
Pushed into batting first, Tanzid Hasan smashed three beautiful boundaries, two of which were back-to-back well-timed drives against Shardul Thakur. Mohammed Shami brought India’s first breakthrough by getting the ball to move in off the seam and cast Litton Das through the gate.
In the next over, Shardul dismissed Tanzid, who dragged in to his stumps while trying to pull a short ball. Anamul Haque Bijoy, playing in his first ODI since December 2022, became Shardul’s second victim when he top-edged a pull to wicketkeeper KL Rahul, leaving Bangladesh at 28/3 in 5.4 overs.
India could have got Bangladesh into more trouble in the 10th over if debutant Tilak Varma and Suryakumar Yadav hadn’t dropped catches to get Mehidy Hasan out off Shardul’s bowling. Four overs later, though, Mehidy pushed at a turning-away delivery from Axar Patel with hard hands and edged to Rohit Sharma at slip moving to his right.
While Shakib held one end with his drives and sweeps, Hridoy was quick to be aggressive by smacking Tilak for a brace of sixes over long-on and deep mid-wicket. Axar found more turn, but Hridoy got an outside edge between keeper and slip going for four.
Shakib also got an edge off Ravindra Jadeja for four and danced down the pitch to smack Axar for two sixes, one of which fetched him his 55th ODI fifty. He then got a lucky edge past the keeper for four and nailed the slog-sweep off Jadeja for six. Hridoy followed it up by hitting back-to-back fours off Shardul as the 100-run partnership came between him and Shakib.
But on the first ball after the drinks break, Shardul struck immediately as Shakib chopped into his stumps, followed by Jadeja trapping Shamim Hossain lbw to get his 200th ODI scalp. Hridoy marched forward to reach his fifty by using Axar’s pace to place the shot past backward point for four, before holing out to deep mid-wicket for Shami.
Bangladesh’s quest of touching 250 looked in danger, but Nasum, Mahedi, and Tanzim brought out an impressive display of stroke play to add 87 runs collectively and take the team past the 260-wicket mark.
Bangladesh 265/8 in 50 overs (Shakib Al Hasan 80, Towhid Hridoy 54; Shardul Thakur 3-65, Mohammed Shami 2-32) against India