Axar Patel and Shreyas Iyer
Axar Patel and Shreyas IyerIANS

Shreyas, Axar, Rohit fifties go in vain as India lose to Bangladesh by 5 runs in 2nd ODI

Dhaka, December 7, 2022

Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel and an injured Rohit Sharma hit valiant half-centuries, but their efforts went in vain as India lost the second ODI to Bangladesh in a thrilling encounter at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium (SBNCS) in here, on Wednesday.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz turned out to be India's nemesis for the second time in as many matches by scoring an unbeaten 83-ball century while veteran batter Mahmudullah made a fine 77 to carry Bangladesh to a respectable 271/7 in 50 overs from being 69/6 at one stage.

Their bowlers were then clinical in reducing India to 65/4 in 18.3 overs. India were in troubled waters, and were steered out of them by 82 from Shreyas and a run-a-ball 56 from Axar.

Rohit, despite a taping on his injured left thumb which didn't allow him to open, hit an unbeaten 51 off 28 balls and threatened to take the match away from Bangladesh. But it wasn't meant to be as Bangladesh maintained their perfect record of not losing a series at home since October 2016.

Joining from 65/4 in 18.3 overs, Shreyas began by paddle-sweeping left-arm spinner 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 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, bringing the 107-run partnership off 101 balls to an end. But Axar continued with his clean lofts and slog-sweeps against Nasum and Mehidy to get his second fifty of this year.

Axar's stay, though, ended in 39th over, when Ebadot cramped him for room and forced the batter to hit straight to extra cover. Things got tougher for India as Shardul Thakur was easily stumped while Deepak Chahar holed out in the deep.

Rohit came out to bat at number nine and swivel-pulled Ebadot for a brace of sixes, before timing an elegant off-drive in the 46th over. But with Mahmudullah conceding just a solitary run in the 47th over and Mustafizur bowling a maiden 48th over, things looked tough for India.

Rohit slog-swept and pulled Mahmudullah for a brace of sixes in the 49th over, where he was dropped twice in the deep, though the all-rounder castled Mohammed Siraj on the final ball.

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 on the fifth ball, but Mustafizur had the last laugh as Rohit couldn't get a run on a yorker, depriving him of the room to swing hard, to give Bangladesh an unassailable lead in the series.

Earlier, Virat Kohli couldn't last long after walking out to open alongside Shikhar Dhawan in Rohit's place, getting his off-stump uprooted while trying to pull off the bowling of Ebadot Hossain. In the next over, Mustafizur Rahman bounced out Shikhar Dhawan, giving backward point a simple catch.

More trouble followed India as Washington Sundar chipped it straight to mid-wicket in Shakib Al Hasan's first over, while KL Rahul was trapped lbw by Mehidy while attempting a lap sweep. From there, Shreyas, Iyer and Rohit brought India closer to the target, but it just wasn't meant to be.

Earlier, Mehidy scored an unbeaten 83-ball century while veteran batter Mahmudullah made a fine 77 to carry Bangladesh to a respectable 271/7 in their 50 overs.

Bangladesh were in tatters at 69/6 in 19 overs as the top-order failed to fire again.

But Mehidy and Mahmudullah joined forces to bail the hosts out of trouble. The duo put on a marathon stand of 148 runs off 165 balls for the seventh wicket to lead an absolutely stunning recovery for Bangladesh.

Coupled with Nasum Ahmed's 18 not out, Bangladesh made 68 runs in the last five overs as India's bowling lost the plot for the second time in the series. Their matters were made worse by injury concerns to captain Rohit Sharma and Deepak Chahar.

Mehidy began by cutting Washington Sundar through backward point, while Mahmudullah had luck on his side when the top-edge flew over a leaping keeper off Mohammed Siraj. The duo rotated strike well, while hitting the loose balls for boundaries.

Mehidy hit boundaries behind square mostly and even took on Sundar by dancing down the pitch to hit him over long-on for six. He went on to employ the cut and slog-sweep to perfection against Axar Patel's left-arm spin.

Mahmudullah joined the party by hitting Umran Malik for boundaries over mid-off and mid-on, followed by Mehidy completing his third ODI fifty. Four overs later, Mahmudullah also completed his half-century, signalling a return to form.

Mehidy began the last 10-overs phase with a nick off Shardul Thakur going to the third man rope, while Mahmudullah drove on the up, swat-pulled and whipped off his wrists against the pacers. The partnership ended when Malik rushed Mahmudullah with a quick short ball, which the right-hander tried to slash and was caught behind by a diving keeper.

Nasum maintained the attacking tempo by carting Malik over mid-off for successive boundaries while Mehidy got a top-edge over the keeper's head to make it three boundaries off the 47th over.

Nasum continued his onslaught when he cleanly lofted Siraj over his head for six, while Mehidy punched in the gap between mid-off and extra cover, drove off front foot and scooped Malik for three boundaries in the 49th over.

In the final over, Mehidy shuffled across to beautifully slog Thakur over backward square leg fence for six, followed by heaving him high over deep mid-wicket for another maximum. He reached his maiden ODI century in 83 balls with a single to long-on on the last ball of the innings, with the crowd giving him a rousing standing ovation.

Earlier, Siraj got the ball to talk a lot though he conceded two boundaries and almost had Haque caught if Rohit hadn't dropped the catch at second slip, causing him to leave the field after a blow on the left thumb.

But Haque was dismissed on the very next ball, trapped plumb lbw by Siraj with the one that came back in sharply. Siraj had another success in first ten overs when he castled Das through the gate with a beautiful inswinger.

Malik was searingly quick in his first over, banging Shakib Al Hasan on his head, and then hitting again on the side of his back. He then sent Najmul Hossain Shanto's off-stump on a cartwheel ride.

Shakib's scratchy stay came to an end when he miscued a slog-sweep to juggling short third man off Sundar. In his next over, Sundar got turn and bounce to take Mushfiqur Rahim's glove edge to leg-slip.

On the very next ball, he beat Afif Hossain with a slider coming back in and uproot off-stump. But from there, Mehidy, Mahmudullah and Nasum led a stunning recovery for Bangladesh, leaving India in trouble at mid-point of the innings.

Brief Scores: Bangladesh 271/7 in 50 overs (Mehidy Hasan Miraz 100 not out, Mahmudullah 77; Washington Sundar 3/37, Umran Malik 2/58) beat India 266/9 in 50 overs (Shreyas Iyer 82, Axar Patel 56; Ebadot Hossain 3/45, Shakib Al Hasan 2/39) by five runs


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