Bangladesh clinch ODI series despite Rohit’s late blitz

Dhaka: Off-spin all-rounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz turned out to be India’s nemesis for the second time in as many matches by hitting his maiden ODI century and picking two wickets to help Bangladesh clinch the series with a five-run victory over India in a thrilling second ODI at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium (SBNCS) here.

From being 69/6 in 19 overs, Mehidy, with his unbeaten 83-ball hundred and veteran batter Mahmudullah, who made a fine 77, stitched a mammoth 148-run stand for the seventh wicket to carry Bangladesh to a respectable 271/7 in 50 overs. In defence, their bowlers were clinical in reducing India to 65/4 in 18.3 overs.

India were in troubled waters as Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Washington Sundar, and KL Rahul fell within the first 19 overs. They were steered out of it by 82 from Shreyas Iyer and run-a-ball 56 from Axar Patel, with the duo sharing a 107-run stand.

Captain Rohit Sharma, despite a taping on his injured left thumb which forced him to leave the field in second over and couldn’t open, hit an unbeaten 51 off 28 balls in a courageous effort from batting at number nine and threatened to take the match away from Bangladesh. But it wasn’t meant to be as Bangladesh kept their nerve to maintain their perfect record of not losing a series at home since October 2016.

Shreyas began by paddle-sweeping Nasum Ahmed, while Axar slammed a six over the bowler’s head. Shreyas was quick in getting a brace of boundaries off Mehidy while Axar employed slog-sweep against Shakib Al Hasan for a huge six.

Post reaching his fifty, Shreyas used his feet well against spinners for boundaries and was fluent in his square drive, slice against fast bowlers. Just as he looked to go big for another six, Shreyas picked out deep mid-wicket off Mehidy.

But Axar continued with his clean lofts and slog-sweeps against Nasum and Mehidy to get his second fifty of this year. He fell when Ebadot Hossain cramped him for room and forced the batter to hit straight to extra cover. Things got tougher for India as Shardul Thakur was stumped while Deepak Chahar holed out.

With 20 needed off the final over, Rohit sliced Mustafizur through third man and in the gap between point and short third man. He swatted the left-arm pace down the ground for a six on the fifth ball, but Mustafizur had the last laugh as Rohit couldn’t get a run on a yorker, giving Bangladesh an unassailable lead in the series.


Rohit first Indian to hit 500 sixes in international cricket

Dhaka: Captain Rohit Sharma became the first Indian, and just the second batter world-wide, in international cricket to hit 500 sixes during the second ODI against Bangladesh.

Walking out to bat at No.9 after injuring his hand while in the field, Rohit put up a strong fight late in the run chase. He played a sensational knock (51 not out off 28 balls) with three fours and five sixes, to give India a chance but in the end, failed to get them over the line.

Rohit’s tally of 500 international sixes is bettered by only West Indies legend Chris Gayle, who has 533 sixes. No other Indian batter has more than 400 sixes. MS Dhoni with 359 sixes is the closest to Rohit among Indian players.

The likes of Shahid Afridi (476), Brendon McCullum (398), Martin Guptill (383) are the third, fourth and fifth place respectively in the list of most number of six hitters in international cricket.

Image courtesy of (ET)

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