India to defend title against Pakistan on Sunday
Imperious India to meet arch-rivals Pakistan again, this time in the Champions Trophy final, after their comprehensive nine-wicket victory over Bangladesh.
Powered by a measured century from Rohit Sharma (123*) and a brisk fifty from captain Virat Kohli (96*), India coasted to a nine-wicket win, chasing down 265 in 40.1 overs.
The batting masterclass was preceded by a combined bowling effort that restricted Bangladesh to a below-par 264/7 after India opted to field first. Bhuvneshwar gave Bangladesh two early setbacks but Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim struck fifties each to lead the recovery. The Indian bowlers then made a comeback in the middle overs, thanks to a defining spell from part-timer Kedar Jadhav (2/22). They landed regular blows before Mashrafe Mortaza scored 25-ball 30 to a 250-plus total.
Kedar Jadhav proves to be man with golden arm
If the first 10 overs were all about Indian bowlers, the next 15 belonged to Bangladesh batsmen. Caution led to steady flow of runs which further gave way to regular boundaries. Pandya was taken to the task in his first over, leaking 14 runs.
The pressure was building on India and Tamim compounded that with three consecutive fours off Ashwin in the 23rd over. Mushfiqur soon raised his 26th ODI fifty to take Bangladesh to 150 runs in 26.2 overs. Things were pretty much in control for the first-time semi-finalists when Kohli made the killer move. Not content with his regular bowlers, he asked Jadhav to have a go. And with his angular darts, the part-timer built pressure, one dot ball at a time. Finally, Tamim batting on 70, caved in as he went for a slog sweep and missed the ball completely to be bowled. Jadhav’s next telling blow came when he dismissed another set batsman in Mushfiqur – caught at midwicket for 61. Before him, Ravindra Jadeja got his first and only scalp of the match when he induced a thick edge from Shakib Al Hasan to be out caught behind. From 150/2, Bangladesh slipped to 179/5.
India’s top 3 too strong for Bangladesh
Rohit struck his first ODI century in 18 months and 11th overall as in the company of Kohli, he led India to an easy win to enter the final. The duo added an unbeaten 178 runs for the second wicket. Rohit played a strokeful innings with 12 fours and a six with which he recorded the milestone. Kohli, on the other hand, was his usual self, picking up boundaries after boundaries to remain unbeaten on 96 off 78. When Kohli reached 88, he became the fastest to 8000 ODI runs, overtaking AB de Villiers to the record.