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Friday, December 2, 2022

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Recent Match Report – India vs Bangladesh 35th Match, Group 2 2022/23

India 184 for 6 (Kohli 64, Rahul 50, Mahmud 3-47, Shakib 2-33) beat Bangladesh 145 for 6 (Litton 60, Hardik 2-28, Arshdeep 2-38) with five runs on DLS method

That Litton Badger is up. How many people will be talking about it tomorrow? In Dhaka, in Chattogram and in Sylhet. India had made an impressive total of 184 for 6, mainly thanks to a superlative return to the runs for KL Rahul (50 out of 32), and another chapter in Virat Kohli’s spectacular form as he made 66 and not out 44. Suryakumar Yadav’s 30 off 16 also helped.

But when Litton threw seven fours and three sixes in the first seven overs, Bangladesh had an excellent base. They were 66 for no loss when the rain interrupted and curtailed the game. At the time, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Litton’s opening partner, was seven out of 16.

They should have been confident they needed the 85 from the last nine overs (54 balls) on resumption, especially as the field would likely be greasy after the downpour. But when Shanto called for a tight second, two balls into resume, Litton’s spikes failed to get enough traction on the damp surface he ran on, and he was about three feet away from a superb Rahul direct. hit from just past midwicket.

Bangladesh then lost the road even though they climbed slightly towards the end to keep the last one interesting. They lost six wickets for 40 runs, in 33 deliveries. Nurul Hasan tried his best to perform a miracle, but his 25 out of 14 was not enough. Arshdeep Singh delivered excellent yorkers to death, and India took a hard-fought five-run victory that took them to the top of Group 2.

Litton’s hopeful barrage
Man really set up Bangladesh. Then he got out in an incredibly frustrating way, for which he had little to blame.

The game had started when he knocked Arshdeep three-fours in the second – the first past the backward point, the second to the ground, the third crashing from extra cover.

He kept nailing them. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was pulled into the kickstand beyond the deep square leg. Then came perhaps the best shot of the game: Litton went low and scooped Bhuvneshwar over the shoulder for six in the bowler’s next-over.

By the time the Powerplay ended, he had completed a 21-ball fifty and was flying Bangladesh. After seven overs they were 66 for 0 – 17 runs to the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern par score, when the rain fell and forced a long break. Litton then had 59 out of 26.

But then, the second ball after the restart, he ran for a second at the urging of his partner Shanto, and he slipped on the now damp surface, losing valuable yards. Rahul’s direct hit fell short of a meter. This was when the pursuit changed.

The Revival of Rahul
He’d made three single-digit scores in a row, but given his half-century in warm-ups, can you really call this a dip? Anyway, Rahul hit two spectacular sixes in the power play to suggest he was never out of touch. The first was a languid pickup truck over a deep, square leg of Shoriful Islam. The second – the best of them all – was an extremely timed square-cut Hasan Mahmud who flew into the stands. He hit two more sixes later and was out in the 10th over after proving his worth.

Kohli’s anchor
If you’re going to anchor, this is the way to do it. You hit the slipstream of your more aggressive teammates. And then you make sure you catch up. Even at the end of the 14th left, Kohli was 32 out of 28 – not a particularly impressive score. But where other anchor casters often fail to advance from here, Kohli excels at getting through the late overs. This time, he hit four fours and a six in the last six overs, to hit a strike rate of 145.45. This tournament he has 220 runs at a strike rate of 144.73 and has only been fired once in four innings.

Bangladesh’s post-Litton fade
Before Litton ran out, Bangladesh hit 67 from 43 deliveries, and they hadn’t lost any wickets. In the 34 balls after he came out (excluding the sack round), Bangladesh lost five wickets and made just 40 runs. This was essentially where Bangladesh really lost – Arshdeep and Hardik Pandya bowling double-wicket overs.

Shanto tried to revive Bangladesh’s hopes, but India always seemed the most likely winner.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is the Sri Lanka correspondent for ESPNcricinfo. @afidelf

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