India executed Plan "Don't give a five-for to Mustafizur Rahman" for the first time in this ODI series, and the result of that was the batsmen finally coming to the party, and getting past the mandatory 300-run mark in the 3rd ODI, with Bangladesh finding that target too difficult to scale.
Put into bat first, India overcame a few hiccups and their recent penchant for losing wickets at the wrong time, to post a total of 317/6 in their 50 overs, with Shikhar Dhawan (75, 73, 10x4) and MS Dhoni (69, 77b, 6x4, 1x6) the leading lights in the "that's more like Indian batting" first half.
The second half was India for the most part as well, even if Bangladesh, in spurts, threatened to haul down the target, with the hosts eventually finishing on 240 all out in 47 overs, to crash to a 77-run defeat. The result means Bangladesh have failed to complete a whitewash of the ODI series, while India have at least won back a touch of pride with their efforts, although why they could not play like this from ODI one is anybody's guess.
If Bangladesh were going to chase down 318, they needed a sound start from Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar, but while the latter got off to a flier, the former fell early, lbw to Dhawal Kulkarni, who was quite impressive with the ball.
Sarkar threatened to make a real game of it with his wonderfully-clean hitting, with crisp drives and lofted shots over the infield sending the Mirpur crowd into a frenzy. However, one big shot too many meant a wicket for Kulkarni (8-0-34-2) and a walk back to the pavilion for Sarkar (40, 34b, 5x4, 2x6).
Litton Das (34, 50b, 3x4), Mushfiqur Rahim (24, 30b, 1x6), Shakib Al Hasan (20, 21b, 2x4), Sabbir Rahman (43, 38b, 6x4) and Nasir Hossain (29, 27b, 3x4) all got starts, but not one of them could go on to make a half-century, let alone a big score, and while chasing a total over 300, big scores are absolutely necessary.
To India's credit, they kept plugging away, even with wet conditions rendering it difficult for the spinners, and some disciplined, patient bowling, led by man of the match Suresh Raina (8-0-45-3), was duly rewarded by wickets at regular intervals, which proved to be enough to pick up a win and ensure Bangladesh would only win the series 2-1.
Earlier, Mustafizur Rahman (10-0-57-2) was always going to be the main threat for India, after the left-armer's stunning 11 wickets in the first couple of matches in the three-match ODI series, and it looked like the openers were negotiating the teenager well enough, only for Rohit Sharma (29, 29b, 2x4, 1x6) to throw his hands at a wide delivery, a ball after leaving one outside off, and edge one through to the wicketkeeper Litton Das – the third time the India opener has gotten out to Mustafizur.
At that moment, the India fans would have been thinking "oh man, not again, not another collapse to the same bowler", but there would be no collapse, with Virat Kohli and Dhawan putting on a crucial near-run-a-ball partnership of 75 runs for the second wicket.
India looked primed for a big total at that point, with both Dhawan and Kohli looking more comfortable than an Irishman in a bar, but another daft shot, this time from Kohli, stopped India from running away with the match again.
After a tight first four balls from Shakib Al Hasan, where only one run was scored, Kohli (25, 35b, 1x4) decided to go for a big slog-sweep, but with the ball way too full to play that shot all that followed was the death rattle.
At that wicket, India were on a tricky 114/2 in 19.5 overs, the kind of position they have found themselves in before in this series, only for a raft of wickets to take them out of the game. Dhoni, coming in again at No.4, and Dhawan, though, allied for another vital 44-run partnership, and even if Dhawan fell to Mashrafe Mortaza in the 27th over, India were now primed for a big score.
Ambati Rayudu (44, 49b, 3x4), out for a duck in the last match, came in and gave Dhoni, who was cramping up in the latter part of his innings, good company, with a 93-run partnership setting it up for Suresh Raina to go bonkers in the final overs.
Raina did just that, even if Dhoni fell soon after, also to Mashrafe (10-0-76-3), thumping 38 from 21 balls to take India pass the 300-run mark. He couldn't however, prevent Mustafizur dismissing him for the third time this series, in the penultimate over, with the young left-armer with that dismissal tying Ryan Harris as the record holder of most wickets in a three-match ODI series with 13.
The chase did not pan out as planned, however, but this series will certainly be remembered for Mustafizur's stunning exploits and also as the series when Bangladesh finally stepped out of the shadows of their more illustrious neighbours.