Propelled by half-centurions Robin Uthappa and Ajinkya Rahane, India won the rain truncated first ODI under the Duckworth/Lewis method by seven wickets at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.
After a sluggish start, Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim had earlier shaped the hosts’ innings with a half-century and set the tone. Opting to bat, the home team had lost two wickets with just 35 runs on the board in 10.2 overs. While an initially shaky Anamul Haque helped the skipper lay a foundation, Shakib Al Hasan’s well paced 52, and Mahmudullah’s free flowing 41 took the team to 272 for nine. In a contrasting batting display, the Indian openers got the visitors off to good start with a 99-run stand. With rain threatening to make an appearance in the second innings, Uthappa and Rahane ensured that they kept their wickets intact while maintaining a steady flow of runs. Their innings helped India attain the revised 150-run target off 126 balls with relative ease.
Back in the ODI side after a six-year hiatus, the in-form Uthappa set the pace of the innings with a solid partnership with Rahane. While Uthappa timed the ball beautifully, Rahane too joined in milking the Bangladesh bowlers. He broke free with a six over extra cover off Mashrafe Mortaza followed by a pull for four more.
Batting effortlessly, Uthappa cruised to his 50 off 43 balls. Before bringing up his fifty with a single to long-on he struck Rahman over mid-wicket for six. However, the opener was adjudged lbw off Shakib Al Hasan in the next over.
Cheteshwar Pujara then joined Rahane in the middle but four balls later, heavy showers brought the game to halt with India comfortably poised on 100 for one in 16.4 overs. When the game resumed with the revised target India required 50 off 56 balls.
Taking guard once again Pujara was trapped lbw by Shakib without opening his account. Ambati Rayudu then joined the opener in the middle as India looked to attain the total. With the ball turning, the Bangladesh bowlers gained confidence but Rahane brought up his fifty soon after play resumed and ensured that the India remained in control of the game.
With India still 15 runs short, Rahane departed for 64 mis-cueing a slower one from Mortaza to the third-man region. India captain Suresh Raina and Rayudu then took to the target and a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Earlier, Anamul and Tamim Iqbal were kept on a tight leash by the Indian pacers – Mohit Sharma and Umesh Yadav. The pacemen bowled to their strengths – while Yadav swung the ball, Mohit kept his length to keep to tie down the batsmen. The openers had managed to put only five runs on the board until Yadav sent back Iqbal. Although Anamul garnered two boundaries off Mohit in the next, runs were at a premium for the hosts as the innings progressed. While they struggled to score, Anamul edged a short delivery from Yadav to first slip but was dropped by Raina on 23. An over later, Mominul Haque edged Yadav to wicketkeeper which brought captain, Mushfiqur Rahim to crease.
He declared intent by swinging debutant Akshar Patel over extra cover for six and struck Amit Mishra to the mid-wicket boundary for four. He ensured the score board kept moving and as the partnership began to take shape, Raina introduced another debutant, Parvez Rasool in to the attack. The off-spinner gave India a crucial breakthrough in his first spell by ending the partnership for 52. Anamul looking for the big hit, was caught by Ambati Rayudu at deep midwicket six runs short of his half-century.
Shakib then joined Mushfiqur Rahim in adding runs at a quicker pace and wrest the advantage from India. But the partnership ended for 47 runs as Mushfiqur Rahim stepping out to Rasool was caught by Rahane at mid-off.
Shakib and Mahmudullah did not let the momentum dip as they carried the innings forward until the former departed for 52; a soft dismissal. Runs were flowing easily for Bangladesh as the duo added 65 runs for the fifth wicket until Shakib hit the ball straight back to Raina.
Nasir Hossain then helped Mahmudullah in taking on the Indian bowlers. Hossain claimed two boundaries apiece off Patel and Amit Mishra to help garner 10 runs in each over but as the innings drew to an end, wickets too fell at quick intervals. While Mishra conceded 10 runs he had also knocked back the on song Mahmudullah’s off-stump off the last ball off the over; Hossain perished taking the aerial route off the first ball off the spinner’s next. A brilliant diving catch by Raina saw the back off Ziaur Rahman, handing Yadav his third wicket as India looked to curb the flow of runs.
But in a quick-fire 32-run partnership with Abdur Razzak, Mortaza slammed 18 off 10 before losing his off-stump to Patel in the penultimate over to keep the team on course. In trying conditions as the Indian bowlers relentlessly worked to keep the opposition in check Bangladesh set India an imposing target. With conditions taking its toll on the pacers, Mohit, who was the most economical of India’s bowlers, could not complete his quota of overs. And although Bangladesh batsmen went after the spin heavy India attack, the spinners claimed six wickets amongst themselves.
Man of the Match: Ajinkya Rahane for his match winning 64