Internet Desk: In a match without a true stand-out player, India will be mightily pleased with a comprehensive team performance that will see them surge into a semi-final match-up against Pakistan with confidence.
Shubman Gill (86), Abhishek Sharma (50) and Prithvi Shaw (40) helped India build a 265-strong total after winning the toss and electing to bat on a pitch that yielded 20 wickets for just 223 runs in Australia’s thrilling victory over England just a few days ago.
Interestingly, Bangladesh captain Saif Hassan said he would have chosen to bowl – not due to the conditions, but due to his team’s preference to chase.
After losing Manjot Kalra early, India steadied as Shaw and Gill built a formidable partnership. This would end after 86 runs however when the captain was beaten by a peach of a delivery from Qazi Onik that cut away to take the off stump. Gill went on with the job, blasting nine boundaries among his innings of 86 before he departed with 14 overs to go. This triggered a mini collapse for India who had looked well on target for a score in excess of 300.
Riyan Parag (15), Kamlesh Nagarkoti (5), Anukul Roy (2), Shivam Mavi (5), Sharma (50) and Shiva Singh (3) all departed for just 50 runs toward the India team total, leaving them with a solid but somewhat underwhelming 265 considering the start they had.
Onik was the pick of the Bangladesh bowlers taking 3/48 from his 10 overs and also proved his value in the field with a superb direct hit that sent Roy back to the pavilion.
The Bangladesh chase started steadily – but slowly – with Naim Sheikh the first to go at 23/1 in the ninth over.
Pinak Ghosh then looked to build a partnership with his captain Hassan, but the pair were dismissed by Roy and Nagarkoti respectively in a two-over span and when Aminul Islam was run out just moments later, the writing was on the wall for the Tigers, who needed upward of seven per over at that stage.
Nagarkoti continued his form with the ball taking 3/18 from 7.1 overs and while the wickets weren’t there for Ishan Porel, he carded five incredibly economical overs for just eight runs which applied immense pressure on Bangladesh, ultimately forcing the batsmen to open up and take more risks against the bowler at the other end.
After impressing with the bat, Sharma stepped up and claimed the wickets of Hossain and Onik, as well as taking a pair of catches.
Next up for India is Pakistan, who they will play at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Tuesday 30 January while Australia meets Afghanistan in the other semi-final, also at Hagley Oval, the day prior.
With inputs from ICC.