India were playing their sixth semi-final in seventh ICC event. They are the big match players and were the favourites against Bangladesh in the second semi-final of ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in Birmingham. But Bangladesh had other plans. For the first 25 overs of their innings, they were in a comfortable position at 142 for 2. Ideally, with two set batsmen batting, Bangladesh should have crossed 300 with ease. But, Kedar Jadhav removed both half-centurions Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim in his spell of six over for 22 runs as Bangladesh lost the plot and were restricted to 264 for 7.
India then showed how to bat. Openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma set a solid platform with an 87-run stand before the former was dismissed. But Rohit brought up his century, second against Bangladesh in ICC events. Virat Kohli remained unbeaten on 96 as India chased down the target with nine wickets in hand and 59 balls remaining.
Defending champions India reached the Champions Trophy final for the fourth time and will defend their title against arch-rivals Pakistan, who beat England in the semi-final, in the final on Sunday.
Rohit scored his 11th ODI century and the second consecutive against Bangladesh in ICC ODI events. His delicate strokeplay and timing outplayed Bangladesh. Dhawan also became the leading run-scorer in champions trophy while Kohli continued his good form with 95. He also became the fastest to 8, 000 ODI runs.
India chase was ideal from the start to end, They applied themselves with perfection and did not let the pressure get on to them.
If the batting was sublime, then the bowling was lethal. Despite failing to pick wickets after the first powerplay, India were brilliant with bowl. Bhuvneshwar Kumar showed it early in the match when he removed Soumya Sarkar on the final ball off the first over.
Sabbir Rahman had raced to 19 off 12 balls but he faced seven dot balls after that. Jasprit Bumrah increased the pressure from the other end. Sabbir played the rash shot to be dismissed.
Mushfiqur settled in and attacked the Indian bowlers. With Tamim, he scored quick runs and counter-attacked the Indian bowlers. They settled in and played the Indian spinners with ease.
Both completed half-centuries and put Bangladesh in a commanding position. Even Hardik Pandya was punished and India were left to complete his overs by some other bowler. It was the the golden arm of Kedar Jadhav. Fortunately, he struck.
Jadhav bowled one into Tamim, who played for turn but the ball hurried on to him. It went through the big gap between bat and pad to castle him.
Jadhav and Ravindra Jadeja ran through the overs quickly and it was now Bangladesh under pressure. Shakib Al Hasan tried to cut one low delivery from Jadeja but got an outside edge. MS Dhoni doesn’t miss those.
Mushfiqur was still fighting hard but in the 36th over, a Jadhav full-toss was hit straight to mid-wicket. Mahmudullah and Mossedak Hosssain. But in the final 10 overs, India introduced Bumrah and he removed the latter.
Bumrah then strangled the run-flow as Mahmudullah was bowled. While the spinners were not cent percent effective, the pacers did get some movement and restricted Bangladesh to 264/7.