Men in Blue save face with consolation win

Mirpur: India restored some pride with a consolation 77-run win over Bangladesh in third and final ODI in Mirpur on Wednesday to prevent the spirited hosts from securing a famous 3-0 series whitewash. 

India, put in to bat, put up a competitive 317 for six courtesy under-fire captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (69 runs off 77 balls) and opener Shikhar Dhawan (75 off 73)). Suresh Raina put up an all-round effort, scoring 38 before ending with career best figures of three for 45. 

The home team flattered to deceive in the chase with its batsmen squandering promising starts, eventually ending at 240 all out to give India their first and only win of the short tour. 

Bangladesh were cruising in the first 10 overs despite losing the experienced Tamim Iqbal (5) early. 

Young Soumya Sarkar (40 off 34) showed once again he is a batsman to watch out for during his entertaining stay at the crease. The opener played shots all around the wicket in the company of Litton Das (34 off 50), smashing five fours and two sixes to send the crowd into a frenzy. 

Like some of his teammates, Sarkar looked set for a big score until he mistimed a slower one off Dhawal Kulkarni, giving a simple catch to Ravichandran Ashwin at mid-on. However, the game was very much alive with Bangladesh reaching 65 for two in 10 overs. 

Das and Mushfiqur Rahim (24 off 30) got together and shared a 50-run stand before the two fell in quick succession, leaving their team at 118 for four in the 22nd over. And when premier all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan departed to make it 148 for five, Bangladesh’s hopes of another famous win over India were receding fast. 

However, Sabbir Rahman (43 off 38) and Nasir Hossain (32 off 30) were not to go down without a fight. The duo hammered 49 off 38 balls for the sixth wicket as the dew made batting easier in the second half of the game. 

India badly needed to wicket now and Stuart Binny, playing his first game of the series, provided the timely strike by finding the stumps of the dangerous Rahman, leaving Bangladesh at 197 for six in the 33rd over. The asking rate was not much of an issue for the hosts but they just kept on losing wickets at regular interval. 

Spinners Ashwin and Axar Patel were effective alongisde part timer Raina. Umesh Yadav, brought back into the side, was wayward again and ended up conceding 33 runs in four overs. 

Earlier, Dhawan starred with the bat before beleaguered skipper Dhoni struck a gritty fifty to take India to a defendable total. 

India relied on Dhoni’s 93-run stand for the fourth wicket with Ambati Rayudu (44 off 49) and Dhawan’s 75-run partnership for the second wicket with Virat Kohli (25 off 35).


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