Cyclone Rohit hits Rajkot as India raze Bangladesh in 2nd T20Ihttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/rohit-sharma-chahal-rajkot-india-vs-bangladesh-2nd-t20i-6108592/

Cyclone Rohit hits Rajkot as India raze Bangladesh in 2nd T20I

Rohit Sharma led from the front with a match winning 85 while Yuzvendra Chahal spun a web with the ball as India thumped Bangladesh in Rajkot to level the three-match series 1-1 on Thursday.

Rohit Sharma congratulates Yuzvendra Chahal during the 2nd T20I between India and Bangladesh in Rajkot on Thursday (BCCI/Twitter)

India beat Bangladesh by 8 wickets and 4.2 overs to spare in the 2nd T20I in Rajkot on Thursday to set up a series decider in Nagpur on Sunday. After Yuzvendra Chahal orchestrated a collapse in the later half of the Bangladesh innings to restrict them to 153/6, India chased down the target on the back of a punishing performance from Rohit Sharma, who blasted 85 off 43 balls.

Toss: Rohit Sharma, playing his 100th T20I, won the toss and opted to field first.

First Innings: Bangladesh blasted off to an aggressive start, with Liton Das (29) and Mohammad Naim (36) going after Khaleel Ahmed in particular. Drama over Rishabh Pant’s stumpings – one of them failed – and an opportunistic run out gave India their first window into the game. When Soumya Sarkar (30) was also stumped off Chahal’s bowling in the 13th over, Bangladesh were in trouble for the first time in the match.

Mahmudullah (30) tried to give some momentum to the visiting side’s final flourish, but Indian bowlers kept the pressure up after the flurry of wickets and Bangladesh finished at 153/6, at least 30 runs less than what they had been looking capable of around the 10-over mark.

Second Innings: Rohit Sharma (85) looked set for one of his special knocks on Thursday, as he started pummelling the Bangladesh bowlers from the beginning. Shikhar Dhawan (31), whose strike rate was a matter of concern in the first T20I, batted at a S/R just above 114 on Thursday, indicating that this is an area where India need to look at. On Thursday though, with the kind of sounds coming off Rohit’s bat, Dhawan’s problems were well hidden.

KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer finished the job as Rohit was dismissed an agonizing 15 runs short of a century.

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Gamechanger: Yuzvendra Chahal’s spell changed the momentum of the match, though Rohit Sharma’s numbers are the most striking from the scoreboard. Bangladesh had been cruising in the initial parts of their innings. Chahal’s breakthroughs brought India back into the match. He finished with figures of 2/28, but he should have got at least another wicket, had it not been for the stumping drama involving Liton Das.

Mahmudullah: “180 would have been defendable. They (Rohit and Shikhar) started superbly and got the momentum. On a wicket like this, wrist spinner is a very handy bowler to have in your side and Chahal showed that.”

Rohit Sharma: “Both the spinners (Chahal and Washington Sundar) are very smart and they understand their bowling really well. They always have conversations with the coach and the captain as to how to improve. They played a lot of domestic cricket and Sundar has been our new ball bowler and today I wanted to change it considering how big the ground is.”

Brief Scores: BAN 153/6 (20) | IND 154/2 (15.4)