IND v BAN: Jadhav ka tandav, the Hitman and the cheetah steer India to the final


Coming on the back of a prolific victory over South Africa, the Men in Blue came up with yet another clinical performance against Bangladesh to set up a mouth-watering final against archrivals Pakistan.

While Bangladesh had largely rain to thank for their journey to the semis, India had to overcome Pakistan and World No.1 South Africa to reach the semis. However, how these two teams reached the semis mattered little on Thursday. The fans were all set.

Bangladesh were put in to bat after Virat Kohli won the toss and the ever-consistent Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck in the first over as Soumya Sarkar got a duck to his name.

Coming in at no.3, Sabbir Rahman tried to take on the Indian bowlers but played one shot too many as Ravindra Jadeja took a splendid catch off the bowling of Bhuvneshwar.

At that crucial juncture, Mushfiqur Rahim joined Tamim Iqbal in the middle. The two struggled and survived the initial burst from the Indian pacers. Tamim got a reprieve after getting bowled off a no-ball from Hardik Pandya. India was not impressed.

After getting through the initial overs, Tamim and Mushfiqur started playing their shots and soon brought up a century stand. However, just when the pair threatened to run away, Kohli handed over the ball to part-time off-spinner Kedar Jadhav and the move paid off as Tamim was cleaned up without much fuss.

That wicket turned out to be a vital moment of the match as India thereafter started spinning a web around Bangladesh. Jadhav and Jadeja bowled in tandem and soon the Bangladeshi team found itself reeling at 179/5.

Just when it looked like India will wrap up the innings soon, Mahmudullah and Mosaddek Hossain combined well to take Bangladesh get past 200. But getting past Jasprit Bumrahโ€™s accurate yorker proved to be too much for Mosaddek eventually.

Captain Mashrafe Mortaza added some important runs in the last few overs to help Bangladesh reach a respectable total of 264. Overall, it was another outstanding effort from the Indian bowling line-up who found a new hero in Jadhav.

The total was never going to be enough but what followed was something Bangladesh wouldnโ€™t have imagined as the Indian openers came out all guns blazing and continued their stupendous run of form in the tournament.

Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma added up 63 runs in the mandatory Powerplay scoring at more than 6 runs per over, well above the required run-rate. Before Dhawan departed for a quickfire 46, the pair had added another record to their name.

Skipper Kohli joined Rohit in the middle and started playing positively straight away. The duo showed no signs of nerves and put on an exhibition of top-notch batsmanship.

Rohit and Kohli reached their half-centuries soon and unleashed some delightful shots from their repertoire as the accolades kept on coming for these two vital members of the Indian team. It was absolute carnage and the Bangladeshis looked clueless.

Rohit kept up the good work and brought up a well-deserved century before long.

At the other end, Kohli continued to do what he does best! The master chaser toyed with the Bangladesh bowling attack. Some of his shots were totally out of this world.

Kohliโ€™s icy-cool demeanour was once again on display as he and Rohit galloped to the target with 59 balls to spare and 9 wickets in hand.

Virat and company will now be hoping to claim the trophy when they take the field against Pakistan at Kennington Oval on Sunday.

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