When Bangladesh ended with just over 260 in their fifty overs, they would have given themselves a chance with the bowling they possess. But a century from hitman Sharma and another masterful knock from the Indian skipper saw India chasing the total down comfortably — setting up a grand finale for Champions Trophy 2017.
Tamim and Rahim strike gold but twin strikes from Jadhav helps pull things back
After being put in to bat on a fresh Edgbaston track, Bangladesh looked to be in a hurry to get things up and running. Tamim Iqbal, however, started off with caution in his approach. There was something in the pitch for the pacers initially and Bhuvneswar Kumar was quick to exploit that with the wicket of Soumya Sarkar in the third over. One would have thought that the early wicket would put them on the backfoot but Sabbir Rahman seemingly came out with a different set of plans. His plan was to clear the infield and take advantage of the first powerplay. While he did find success for a couple of overs, Bhuvneshwar removed him with the now-famous knuckle ball.
And then, the experienced Mushfiqur Rahim came in to join Tamim at the other end. Things calmed down for Bangladesh as the duo gave stability to the innings before launching themselves against the spinners. India was staring at a score close to 150 at the halfway stage and things looked gloomy with Kohli having to hide Pandya again. He introduced Kedar Jadhav into the bowling, probably with the intention of getting a few overs through, but the off spinner ended up taking the wickets of Rahim and Iqbal instead.
Jadeja accounted for Shakib and Mahmudullah cut a sorry figure against a brilliant yorker from Bumrah. What followed was some brilliant death bowling from India as Bangladesh ended with 264 at the end of 50 overs. Their skipper added 30 off 25 with the help of some luck in the field but the score was well within reach on a surface that had looked conducive to strokeplay.
No hiccups for India in a supposedly easy chase as Rohit smashes ton
India had chased a scored in excess of 250 just once before in the Champions Trophy (back in 2002 against England) but this was an Indian side that prides itself for its ability to chase anything down. Rohit and Dhawan continued to show why they have been as successful as an opening partnership since the last Champions Trophy, each complementing the other, and toying around with the Bangladeshi bowlers. Dhawan in particular looked dangerous scoring a quickfire 46 off 34 before top edging a ball off Mortaza. Almost one third of the target had been done by; when Virat Kohli joined Rohit Sharma had the crease.
Rohit and Virat made merry of the chase with their own bit of brilliance with the bat after that, quietly going about things, both getting to their respective milestones with consummate ease —the former registered his 11th ODI hundred while Kohli plundered a chanceless 96 run knock, also reaching 8000 ODI runs in the process. Rohit was awarded the Man of the Match award for his knock.
Bangladesh had a decent chance of taking the fight to India the way they started but those wickets from Jadhav turned the match completely in favor of the Indians. Kohli and co. would now head to the Oval to play a Pakistan side they beat comprehensively in the group stage but a tournament final is all about playing better cricket on the day.
Bangladesh: 264/7 (Iqbal: 70, Rahim: 61, Jadhav: 2/22)
India: 265/1 (Rohit: 123*, Kohli: 96*, Mortaza: 1/29 )