Sunday, July 14, 2024

Sehwag, Kohli put Tigers down

India attained their twin objectives of confirming their status as tournament favourites and exacting a revenge on their upstart neighbours when they defeated Bangladesh by 87 runs in the World Cup opening match on Saturday.
Opener Virender Sehwag made Bangladesh skipper Sakib al Hasan regret his decision for opting to bowl first by smashing a record 175 runs by a batsman at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium and in the process setting up the crushing victory.
Bangladesh can take heart from the fact that their 283-9 in 50 overs is their highest run in a World Cup match coming into their fourth tournament.
Chasing the improbable target of nearly seven-and-a-half runs per over what Bangladesh needed most was an explosive innings from someone like Tamim Iqbal, but the left-hander was unusually calm.
He changed his game plan and allowed partner Imrul Kayes and Junaed Siddique to open up, but the strategy did not pay off. Imrul was out for 34 off 29 balls before Junaed became the victim of the tournament’s 100th stumping making 37 off 52 balls.
Tamim and Sakib both made half-centuries which did not allow the defeat balls the spectators started to leave the ground. Bangladesh, however, could manage to send India a message that they have to improve their bowling markedly if they want to win this World Cup.
Although there should not be any complaint about India’s batting which remained as formidable as before. Sehwag, who blasted his second World Cup century, led them to 370-4 which should be tough for any side to chase down.
He added 203 runs with Virat Kohli for the third wicket with the latter also completing a century in the final over. He finished on 100 not out off 83 balls on his World Cup debut.
Sehwag made his intentions clear from the very beginning ball when he drove paceman Shafiul Islam through cover for a boundary in the first ball of the match and completed his fifty in grand style with a six over mid-wicket off the bowling of left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak.
Bangladesh had their first laugh in the game when they had Sachin Tendulkar run-out for 28 following a mix-up with Sehwag.
Tendulkar had become the world’s most capped ODI player when he overtook Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya, who is not playing in this World Cup, with his 445th appearance.
Gambhir was then bowled by off-spinner Mahmudullah for a run-a-ball 39 before Sakib finally brought an end to Sehwag’s magical innings.
The right-hander was eying the second ever ODI double century after Tendulkar’s 200 not out against South Africa last February before he dragged a full delivery from Sakib on to his stumps.

 

Via: NewAge

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