Bangladesh cricket team was left ruing a lost opportunity to seal the three-match Twenty20 international series against India but vowed to comeback strongly in the third and final match at Nagpur on Sunday.
India thrashed Bangladesh by eight wickets in Friday’s second match to level the series 1-1, leaving the side to wait until the final game to try and win a three-match Twenty20 series in India as the first visiting team.
After a seven-wicket loss in the opening match of the series in Delhi, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma took the matter on his hand to steer his team to win with 85 off 43 balls.
Sharma, arguably one of the finest cricketers in white ball who was playing his 100th Twenty20 international, spared hardly any bowler, hitting six fours and as many sixes in his swashbuckling innings.
Bangladesh facer Shafiul Islam, who conceded 21 runs in his two overs, admitted they felt hapless at times against Sharma during his onslaught on the placid Rajkot track that offered no assistance to the bowlers.
‘Actually, the wicket was very good, we tried but they batted well. We were hapless in this kind of wicket, we tried to depend,’ he told reporters in Rajkot before the team travelled to Nagpur.
Shafiul took the wicket of Sharma in the very first over of the first match in Delhi, sending the home side on the backfoot at the start of the game.
But the talismanic Indian opener, who had four Twenty20 international centuries to his name, the highest by any cricketer, did not offer Bangladesh much room to attack him on this occasion and took the game from their reach in the blink of an eye.
After a watchful first few overs, Sharma took the attack on Mustafizur Rahman in the fourth over to hit him two fours and six and did not look back since.
He reached his fifty off 23 balls- his second quickest in career and looked destined for a big hundred, despite a modest target of 154 runs.
Leg-spinner Aminul Islam dismissed Sharma and his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan but India faced no problem to overhaul Bangladesh’s 153-6, racing to their target in less than 16 overs.
Bangladesh also missed a trick by opening the bowling with Mustafiz and Al-Amin Hossain, unlike the first match, keeping Shafiul waiting until the final over of the powerplay to take the ball.
‘I had faith in my start, but there was nothing in the wicket,’ said the experienced seamer. ‘More than we played bad cricket, it was a good day for Rohit Sharma. There is nothing to feel morally down. When a player has a good day, any team can beat anyone.’
Shafiul said they are yet to throw in the towel and are ready to take the challenge in the final game.
‘We are indeed upset because we had a good opportunity to warp-up the series,’ he said.
‘Obviously, it would have been good if we could win the series. But the main thing is that we will try to come back strongly.
‘Provided we play good cricket like the way we played in the first match, do not repeat the mistakes, of course, we can still win series,’ he said.
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