Melbourne: Powered by a scintillating century from Rohit Sharma (137), India registered a comprehensive 109-run win over neighbours Bangladesh to enter the cricket World Cup semifinals at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) here on Thursday.
Guided by Rohit, the defending champions posted a challenging total of 302/6 in 50 overs in the quarterfinal. Later, the Bangladeshi batsmen proved no match for the Indian bowlers, who skittled out the youngest Test-playing nation for 193 runs in 45 overs.
No team has ever chased down a 300-plus target at the huge MCG and Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men ensured that they maintained the record. Dhoni also entered his name into the record books to become only the third captain in One-Day International (ODI) history to win 100 matches after Allan Border (107) and Ricky Ponting (165).
Chasing 303, Bangladesh never got going and kept losing wickets steadily. Opener Tamim Iqbal (25) looked a little dangerous at the start but his wicket in the seventh over started the collapse.
Rohit Sharma. Pic/ AFP
None of the Bangladesh batsmen stepped up to play the anchor's role. The only notable partnership came from Nasir Hossain (35) and Sabbir Rahman (30) who struck a 50-run stand for the seventh wicket. But it was a little too late to resurrect the innings for Bangladesh, who had lost six wickets at 139 by the 36th over.
On a day when Mohammed Shami (2/37) and Mohit Sharma (1/36) went for a few runs, it was Umesh Yadav who rose to the occasion to clinch his career-best figures of 4/31. Also, with his two wickets, Shami is now the highest wicket-taker of the World Cup with 17 scalps.
The spinners were also effective. While Ravindra Jadeja (2/42) picked up a couple, offie Ravichandran Ashwin tied down the batsmen with figures of 10-1-30-0.
Earlier in the day, Rohit Sharma was declared the 'Player of the Match' for rising to the occasion with a scintillating century that helped India post a commanding 302 for six.
Rohit shared a 122-run fourth wicket stand in only 15.5 overs with the belligerent Suresh Raina (65), that helped the 'Men In Blue' post a competitive total despite some tight bowling by Bangladesh for the better part of the Indian innings.
At one stage India were in a bit of trouble at 115 for three before Rohit and Raina bailed the team out of the tricky situation.
In the last 10 overs, India managed to score 97 runs. This was Rohit's seventh ODI hundred that had 14 fours and three sixes, while Raina had seven fours and a big six off Shakib Al Hasan to his credit in his 57-ball innings. Rohit's penchant for scoring big hundred was again evident as he now has two ODI hundreds at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (he has scored 138 vs Australia) and has got runs when it mattered the most, in a crunch game, with his team under some kind of pressure.
While the Mumbaikar paced his innings brilliantly scoring the first 50 off 70 balls and the next 87 runs off only 56 balls, the left-hander from UP was more adventurous in his shot selection as he treated both pacers and spinners with equal disdain.
Despite scoring two half-centuries, Rohit has had a quiet tournament. So the very first ball bowled by rival captain Mashrafe Mortaza was hit through the covers and certainly that calmed his nerves. He also had a firm push back past the same bowler for a boundary.
Shikhar Dhawan also handsomely drove Taskin Ahmed in the very next over as Indian openers were off the blocks. Mashrafe introduced Nasir Hossain's part-time off-spin as early as sixth over and Rohit quickly cashed in on the opportunity to loft him over extra cover for a boundary.
While Shikhar was happy to rotate the strike, Rohit did hit some audacious shots. It included a six down the ground off Nasir as 50 runs came in 9.3 overs.
The first 15 overs yielded 70 runs and the first wicket fell in the 17th over when team's No. 1 player Shakib was brought into the attack. He induced Dhawan with a tossed up ball to come out for the drive and miss it as Mushfiqur Rahim completed the stumping.
Search engine giant Google designs an interesting Doodle for the highly anticipated ICC World Cup quarter-final match between India and Bangladesh.
Google Doodle for Ind vs Ban. Pic Courtesy: Google
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