On a tough pitch on which very few of his teammates clicked with the bat, opener Shubman Gill stood tall to hit his fifth ODI century, a sparkling 121 off 133 balls. But it went in vain as Bangladesh edged India by six runs in a thrilling Asia Cup Super Four match at the R. Premadasa Stadium here on Friday.
After captain Shakib Al Hasan and Towhid Hridoy hit half-centuries before the lower-order batters stepped up in carrying Bangladesh to 265/8, Tanzim Hasan Sakib took 2/32 on debut before the four-man spin attack relied on turn and bounce from the pitch to apply the choke on India.
Though Gill hit eight fours and five sixes and Axar Patel made a quick 42 off 34 balls at the fag end, it was not enough as India were bowled out for 259 in 49.5 overs, with Mustafizur Rahman taking three wickets as Bangladesh signed off from the competition on a high.
Chasing 266, India were dealt two big blows by Tanzim in the first three overs. On his outswinger, captain Rohit Sharma chipped an early drive straight to cover-point, while Tilak Varma’s debut innings ended with him shouldering arms for an away-going delivery, only for the ball to come in and hit the stumps.
Gill was proficient in getting on top of the bounce to cut, drive and punch with precision, while K.L. Rahul was deep in the crease to execute his cut shots well. But he was soon stuck at the crease and in a bid to break free, whipped straight to mid-wicket off Mahedi Hasan.
Gill then danced down the pitch against Mahedi in the 20th over to heave him over mid-wicket for six and reach his half-century in style. But he was losing partners from the other end as Ishan Kishan missed a reverse sweep and was trapped plumb lbw by Mehidy Hasan Miraz.
Suryakumar Yadav majorly used the sweep shot in his 34-ball stay, which also fetched him two boundaries, as Bangladesh’s spinners stepped up in stemming the run-flow. But the usage of sweep also made him very predictable and caused his downfall when he was cast by Shakib Al Hasan in an attempt to sweep again.
Gill showed signs of change in gears when he danced down the pitch to slam Shakib for two sixes over the long-on fence, even as Ravindra Jadeja was castled after he completely missed the ball on a cross-bat hoick. Gill eventually got his hundred in 117 balls with a brace through deep mid-wicket and took back-to-back fours off Tanzim, followed by heaving Mahedi for six.
But on the very next ball, Mahedi pitched the ball slower and outside the off-stump, on which Gill lofted, but holed out to long-off. Axar, who survived an LBW appeal, kept India in the hunt by pulling and heaving Nasum for four and six respectively.
He followed it up by lofting Mahedi down the ground for a four and six respectively in the 48th over. But Rahman turned the game on its head in the next over, as Thakur clipped a full-toss to square leg and Axar holed out to long-off just after hitting a four, enough to ensure a Bangladesh victory.
Bangladesh 265/8 in 50 overs (Shakib Al Hasan 80, Towhid Hridoy 54; Shardul Thakur 3-65, Mohammed Shami 2-32) beat India 259 all out in 49.5 overs (Shubman Gill 121, Axar Patel 42; Mustafizur Rahman 3-50, Tanzim Hasan Sakib 2-32) by six runs.