‘s fifth ODI ton and a valiant knock from Axar Patel lower down the order went in vain as Bangladesh pipped India by 6 runs in a thrilling final Super Four game in Colombo on Friday.
With the narrow win, Bangladesh signed off their 2023 Asia Cup campaign causing an unexpected upset over the finalists.
Gill fired a magnificent 121 off 133 balls, giving an awesome display of his talent but his knock was not enough to drag India past Bangladesh’s 265 for 8 built around fifties by Shakib Al Hasan (80) and Towhid Hridoy (54).
In the tense chase, Axar (42 off 34 balls) too tried to bring India back into the game with some late heavy blows, but the target stayed just beyond India’s grasp.
In the tournament’s context, the result did not matter as India had already entered the final. They will face Sri Lanka on Sunday.
As It Happened
Here’s a look at the key moments of the India-Bangladesh thriller:
Bangladesh’s early slump
After making 5 changes to their side and inviting Bangladesh to bat first, India made a perfect start, courtesy Mohammed Shami and Shardul Thakur as the duo wreaked havoc with the new balls. Shami drew first blood, knocking over Litton Das for a duck with a jaffa in the third over. In the following over, Shardul castled the other Bangladeshi opener Tanzid Hasan for 13. Anamul Haque became Shardul’s second victim inside the powerplay as he was caught behind for 4 and Bangladesh found themselves reeling at 28 for three inside the first six overs. Skipper Shakib and Mehidy Hasan Miraz made a brief recovery with a 31-run partnership but Axar Patel got rid of the latter for 13 as
Rohit Sharma pulled off a superb catch at first slip. With the fall of Mehidy Hasan, Bangladesh slipped to 59 for 4 at the end of the 14th over.
The perfect century stand
With their side reeling, Shakib and Hridoy joined hands and conjured an outstanding 101-run partnership, bailing Bangladesh out of trouble. Both first arrested the slide and then steadied the innings to pull off a remarkable recovery. With a perfect mix of caution and aggression, Shakib and Hridoy played really well, exploiting the reduced firepower in India’s bowling attack after the early collapse. Despite the pitch aiding the spinners, Shakib and Hridoy, apart from minor hiccups, looked really good against the spinners. Shakib especially took on the left-armers Ravindra Jadeja and Axar and kept the scoreboard moving. In the process, Shakib got to his fifty and the duo kept India at bay. Hridoy too played a stubborn knock as India searched for answers. From 59/5 in 14 overs, both batted till the 34th over, raising 101 runs for the 5th wicket. The partnership was eventually broken after Shakib chopped on a Shardul delivery back onto his stumps for 80.
The lower-order resistance
After Shakib departed in the 34th over, the following over saw Shamim Hossain being trapped in front by Jadeja for 1. With 2 quick wickets, it looked India were back in business but Hridoy and Nasum Ahmed halted India’s march with a crucial 32-run 8th wicket stand. As Hridoy raised his fifty amid the stand and Nasum also looked good as India were once again under pressure. However, Shami returned to end Hridoy’s stay in the middle soon after his fifty. But by the time Hridoy (54) got out, Nasum had got his eyes in as he then raised another vital stand with Mahedi Hasan for the 9th wicket. Attacking the bowlers, both took Bangladesh past the 200-run mark, adding impressive 45 runs off 36 balls. Nasum then chopped on for 44 off Prasidh in the 48th over but Mahedi Hasan and Tanzim Hasan Sakib final blows lifted Bangladesh to an impressive 265 for 8.
India’s woeful start
Chasing a tricky total on a bowling-friendly surface, India got off to a horrendous start, losing 2 wickets inside the first three overs. Pacer Tanzim Hasan started off superbly for Bangladesh, handing them the opening breakthrough in the first over of the chase itself. As Rohit sliced a casual drive straight into the hands of Anamul Haque at covers for a 2-ball duck, Bangladeshis began their defence on a perfect note. ODI debutant Tilak Varma was then knocked over by a Tanzim Hasan jaffa in his very next over with the ball nipping back in and hitting the top of Tilak’s off stump.
Trial by spin
After losing two wickets pretty early into the chase, India needed someone to steady the innings and Shubman Gill and KL Rahul joined forces, stitching up a 57-run third wicket stand. Both soaked up the pressure with the rotation of the strike but with spinners operating, boundaries were hard to come by. The stand that came off 87 balls did steady India but behind the scenes, the required rate started to creep up a bit. With Rahul’s dismissal in the 18th over, India dealt a severe blow. Ishan Kishan then came out at no.5 but he too struggled against the spin. After adding 20 runs with Gill, Ishan fell to Mehidy Hasan Miraz for 5. Gill was then joined by Suryakumar Yadav in the middle but he too struggled against quality spin bowling from Shakib and co. India did rotate the strike but found it really difficult to score boundaries. The 45-run Gill-Surya stand was eventually broken by Shakib in the 33rd over and from there on Bangladesh’s hopes of a win looked a possibility.
Gill ton in vain
With India losing wickets at regular intervals, Gill, who was batting beautifully didn’t have the required support. Despite Gill doing the bulk of the scoring, there were some irresponsible shot selections from the Indians as well. Jadeja, who had added 31 runs with Gill for the sixth wicket had a brain fade moment in the 38th over as he went for a wild hoick off Mustafizur Rahman and got cleaned up for 7. Axar then joined Gill as the opener raised his 5th ODI ton off 117 balls. Soon after his century, Gill tried to accelerate the pace of the runs but succumbed for 121, trying to hit Mahedi Hasan down the ground. With the Gill dismissal, Bangladesh started to sniff a win but Axar had other plans. With his 34-ball 42 knock and a crucial partnership (40 off 27) with Shardul Thakur, Axar brought India really close to the finish line. From 31 needed off 18 balls, Axar brought down the equation to 17 off 12, collecting 14 runs off the Mahedi Hasan 48th over. However, in the very next over, experienced Mustafizur got rid of both Shardul (11) and Axar (42) to make Bangladesh favourites. In the final over, India needed 8 runs and Shami did hit a boundary but got run out off the fifth ball as India folded for 259.