India became the first team to qualify for the semifinals of the ICC World Twenty20 after routing hosts Bangladesh by eight wickets in a thoroughly one-sided Group II match.
India restricted Bangladesh to 138 for seven, courtesy yet another dominating performance by their spinners and then the batsmen made short work of the target by crossing the line with nine balls to spare. (PHOTOS: India stroll into semis)
Leggie Amit Mishra (3/26) and off-spinner R Ashwin (2/15) shared five wickets between them to set up the win. This is third successive victory in the competition for India and they are well on top of Group 2 with six points and a match to go against Australia, who are more or less out of semifinal race.
India’s last-four berth is also their first since the inaugural edition in South Africa back in 2007. (FULL COVERAGE: ICC World T20)
Save Shikhar Dhawan (1)’s early departure, there weren’t any hiccup as Rohit Sharma (56) and Virat Kohli (57) batted with consummate ease and the ‘Men In Blue’ reached the target without breaking much sweat. Both Sharma and Kohli scored their second successive half-centuries.
The duo added 100 runs for the second wicket partnership to pave the way for another professional show by the team. Rohit faced 44 balls in his knock hitting five fours and a six. Virat took 50 deliveries for his knock and helped himself with three fours and a six in the process.
Such has been the duo’s domination in the tournament that skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni had to promote himself up to get an opportunity to bat as he desperately needed some ‘batting practice’ in a match situation.
Dhoni (22 off 12) finished it off in style by hitting a straight six off Ziaur Rahman.
The two shots in the Indian innings which stood out were the sixes hit by Rohit and Kohli respectively. First was a bouncer by the skiddy Al-Amin Hossain which Rohit hooked deep into the lower tier of the Shere Bangla Stadium.
The second was an effortless loft over extra cover by Kohli off the same pacer. The two hits showed the gulf in standards between the two teams.
It was not easy to bowl under lights as the home team bowlers found out. It seemed that Bangladesh had lost the zeal to compete after their mauling at the hands of West Indies.
There were a couple of difficult skiers offered by Rohit but Sohag Gazi and Anamul Haque made a mess of those. Their bowlers and fielders were happy to go through the motion as the match did not have any element of excitement like the afternoon humdinger between West Indies and Australia.
Earlier, Indian spinners yet again put up an impressive show. Ashwin was yet again at his parsimonious best with exceptional figures of two for 15 in four overs.
Amit Mishra’s dream run in the marquee event continued as he was the pick of the bowlers continued…