Sports Correspondent: Mehidy Hasan Miraz came as the winner in an epic battle against Rohit Sharma to make sure Bangladesh clinch the three-match series against India. At the Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium on Wednesday injured Rohit showcased a valiant show but in the end his team lost by five runs.
Mehidy, who scored a match winning fifty in the first match to help Bangladesh win by a one-wicket margin, scored his maiden century to post a fighting total before getting two wickets.
Indian captain Rohit, who injured himself while fielding, retuned to batting with a fractured finger and almost pulled out a heist. Rohit came to crease when the score was 207-7 in the 43rd over and at a stage saw his team needed 40 runs in last two overs.
He started an onslaught scoring 20 in the Mahmudullah over before adding another 14 in first five balls of Mustafizur Rahman. At that stage Rohit, who was dropped twice in the penultimate over, needed a six to clinch a heroic win but failed to properly connect with the ball, remaining not on 51 off 28 balls.
Bangladesh made a great start defending 271 as they reduced India to 39/3 after 10 overs.
Ebadot Hossain gave the breakthrough when he picked up ace Indian batter Virat Kohli just for five when the visitors had seven runs on the board. Kohli, who was played on while trying a play a big shot of an uprising delivery, came to open the innings as Indian captain Rohit Sharma got himself injured fielding.
Ebadot’s new ball partner Mustafizur bowled a vicious bouncer that experienced campaigner Shikhar Dhawan failed to handle and lobbed an easy catch to Miraz at gully for eight.
Shakib al Hasan made further inroads when he removed Washingtan Sundar for 11.
KL Rahul was trapped in front by an arm delivery of man of the match Mehidy when the score was 65 but Shreyas Iyer and Axar Patel added 107 runs to keep the chase on track. Miraz removed Ayer for a well-made 82 and Axar lobbed a Ebadot bouncer to be dismissed for run-a-ball 56 when the score was 189. Shardul Thakur was foxed by Shakib al Hasan for an easy Mushfiqur Rahim stumping that saw the entry of Rohit.
Ebadot was the pick of the bowlers getting three wickets. Earlier in the day, Miraz hit a stupendous century to take Bangladesh to 271-7.
Miraz remained unbeaten on 100 off 83 balls in an innings that will be remembered for a long time and helped the Tigers post a challenging total after being reduced to 69-6 at one stage.
On his way to an incredible century, he also formed the highest ever seventh wicket partnership against India in ODIs, 148 off 163 balls alongside the experienced Mahmudullah (77 off 96 balls).
For India, off-spinner Sundar took 3-37 in his 10 overs, while Mohammad Siraj and Umran Malik took two wickets each.
Bangladesh, however, got off to a poor start after stand-in skipper Liton Das opted to bat first
Bangladesh tried a new opening partnership of Anamul Haque and Liton, but it lasted only 11 deliveries, before the former got trapped leg before wicket by Siraj.
Before losing his wicket, Anamul had hit back to back boundaries and also got dropped at slip by Rohit Sharma, but couldn’t cash in on his life, departing for just 11 off nine balls.
Najmul Hossain Shanto and Liton then formed a cautious partnership that almost took Bangladesh to the end of the powerplay without any further damage.
But in the 10th over Siraj rattled Liton’s stumps after he had made a dogged seven off 23 balls as the Tigers ended the first powerplay on 44-2.
India took further control of the match in the following nine overs, taking four wickets for 25 runs.
Shanto (21) was the first to go, losing his off stump to a 151 km/h delivery from Umran. The Indian bowlers targeted Shakib with short deliveries but it was off-spinner Sundar who got his wicket, removing him for eight,
Sundar then dismissed Mushfiqur Rahim (12) and Afif Hossain (0) in consecutive deliveries to put India on top.
However, Miraz for the second straight match, stood up for Bangladesh when the team needed him the most and this time he had the experienced Mahmudullah as partner at the other end.
Miraz counter-attacked with some aggressive shots while Mahmudullah kept rotating the strike to slowly but surely get the Bangladesh innings back on track.
Miraz completed his half-century in the 38th over while Mahmudullah reached his fifty in the 41st over and both batters soon cut loose.
Mahmudullah’s innings, which had seven fours, finally came to an end in the 46th over when he was caught off Malik by the keeper.
Nasum Ahmed then played a brilliant cameo innings of 18 off just 11 balls while Miraz also kept going great guns against an Indian attack that was looking clueless against the Bangladesh barrage.
Miraz needed to 15 runs to complete his century when he got the strike with five balls to go in the innings. Miraz hit two sixes and a two to reach 99 with one ball to go.
The moment finally arrived in the very last ball of the innings, when Miraz played the ball down to long on for a single and reached an incredible century, with the help of eight fours and four sixes.