After looking all set to concede a total in excess of 350, Bangladesh bowled brilliantly in the last 20 overs of their innings to restrict India to 314/9, a much less daunting score than what was expected. The stars of Bangladesh's fightback were Mustafizur Rahman and Shakib Al-Hasan. The former proved his credentials as one of the best death bowlers in the World by delivering 4 parsimonioius overs in the last 10 overs of the innings and ended up with his third five-for against India. He managed to keep Indian batsmen like Dinesh Karthik and MS Dhoni quiet and also got them out.
Shakib, on the other hand, bowled another brilliant spell of 10 overs where he tied up MS Dhoni and didn't allow the other batsmen to score easily off him. His figures read 10-0-41-1. Because of these two bowlers primarily, the Men in Blue ended up well short of the 325-mark they would have had in their mind as the least they can get to. When Virat Kohli was dismissed in the 39th over, his team was at 237/3. With batsmen like Pandya and Dhoni to come and Rishabh Pant at the crease, 350 looked possible.
But then in the same over that Mustafizur got Kohli out, he also dismissed Pandya for a duck. Shakib then came into action and got the wicket of a well set and dangerous looking Pant. Dhoni was once again playing in a rather conservative manner and, though, getting some boundaries at regular intervals, seemed unable to get the ball away for runs easily.
The slowness of the wicket that was utilised by English pacers in their last game by bowling only cutters in the last 10 overs came to the aid of Mustafizur as well. Being the best exponent of cutters, he made life very difficult for the Indian batters.
Things could have been even better for Bangladesh had Tamim Iqbal taken the catch of Rohit Sharma very early on in his innings when he tried to pull a short ball from The Fizz but ended up hittng it straight towards the hand of Tamim. The veteran Bangladesh opener though, dropped an easy catch and Sharma went on to score his fourth hundred of the tournament.
It was clear at the begining of the innings that both KL Rahul and Sharma wanted to make amends for the last match where India scored only 27 runs in their first 10 overs. Both openers took more initiative this time and kept the scoring rate high. Even though Rahul again didn't look at his best, he managed to score a decent half-century that set the platform for a big score.
The innings played by Mahendra Singh Dhoni would again raise questions about his intent as the veteran keeper was again looking uncomfortable against spin and failed to dominate pacers as well. Though he still managed to score 35 off 32, there were far too many dot balls in his innings.
India are still the favourites with Mahmudullah not playing in this match and Bhuvneshwar Kumar back into the side. But dropping Kuldeep Yadav could prove to be a mistake as he has been India's best spinner. Then again, Bhuvneshwar may make up for that loss by using his tricks like the knuckle ball that would be very useful on this wicket. Advantage India but Bangladesh would feel they are in the game, big time.