10 May 2007

India edge past Bangladesh

India today chased down a target of 250 off 47 overs with an over to spare. But things didn't always look comfortable, and but for a monumental umpiring error, India may well have lost to Bangladesh. India started their reply fluently at well over the required run rate, but first Gambhir and Sehwag fell having got set, the latter playing a rash uppish shot into the covers to get caught off the last ball of an over when he's already hit 16 off the first five balls.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni came in at 3 and played extremely well, ultimately steering India to victory with Dinesh Karthik despite a pulled hamstring which meant that he needed a runner for the second half of his innings. With the pressure on India after three wickets had fallen before the 10th over had been completed, Bangladesh skipper Habibal Bashar turned to left-arm spinner Abdur Razzaq, who trapped Dhoni stone cold in front first ball of the 13th over. But the umpire remained unmoved, despite the fact that the ball would have hit two thirds of the way up middle stump.

This decision proved crucial, but Bangladesh still had other chances to take further wickets after the sixth wicket pair of Dhoni and Karthik came together with 107 still required. Almost as soon as he had arrived at the wicket Khartik should have been run out by several yards, but Razzaq failed to take the throw to the bowler's end. Dhoni and Karthik then batted very sensibly to bring the total well within their grasp only to have another heart-stopping moment when Yuvraj Singh, running for Dhoni, called for an unnecessarily tight second run with the score on 210 - all India needed to do at this point was not lose wickets and the game would be theirs. But Singh called for a dicey second that would have resulted in Dhoni being run out with a direct hit. As it was replays showed Singh's bat was over the line but in the air at one point as he dived to make his ground, then seemingly down just in time, but what was really needed was a shot between the two screens that showed the exact moment the stumps were broken, although this wasn't available to the 3rd umpire who correctly ruled Singh, and Dhoni, in.

Karthik, after his early run out scare, batted very sensibly employing the sweep with great regularity against Bangladesh's 3 left-arm spinners, and ended up with 58 not out, while Dhoni ended up with 91 not out. Dhoni was named man-of-the-match and was India's hero, but he really shouldn't have been there if the umpire had made the right call in the 13th over, and Bangladesh can feel rightly peeved.

India v Bangladesh scorecard

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