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Page last updated at 20:13 GMT, Saturday, 6 June 2009 21:13 UK

India too strong for Bangladesh

ICC World Twenty20, Group A, The Oval
India 180-5 beat Bangladesh 155-8 (20 overs) by 25 runs

Match scorecard

Yuvraj Singh

Highlights - India dominate Bangladesh at Trent Bridge

By David Ornstein

Defending champions India dominated Bangladesh with bat and ball to secure a 25-run victory in their opening ICC World Twenty20 match at Trent Bridge.

After winning the toss, India skipper Mahendra Dhoni decided to bat first in front of thousands of passionate fans.

Gautam Gambhir (50) and Rohit Sharma (36) started well before Yuvraj Singh's 41 off 18 balls helped India to 180-5.

Spinner Pragyan Ojha then returned figures of 4-21 as Bangladesh were restricted to 155-8.

"It was cold out there but I will remember this game for a long time since I helped India win," he said.

As expected, the pre-tournament favourites look set to ease through Group A and a win against Ireland on Wednesday would secure their passage to the Super Eights.

Dhoni was delighted with the form of his batsmen and bowlers, particularly Ojha, while, but for a dropped catch by Yuvraj, his team's fielding looks to be improving all the time.

"Gautam and myself could not get the scoreboard moving in the middle overs, but Yuvraj played a brilliant innings and Ojha and Harbhajan completed the job for us.

"But we need to improve our bowling with the new ball and in the final overs. There were too many runs given away," he commented.

India were forced to do without destructive opener Virender Sehwag, who continues to struggle with a shoulder injury, so Rohit opened the innings alongside Gambhir.

Rohit scored 80 off 53 balls in his side's warm-up match against Pakistan but on this occasion he and Gambhir got off to a relatively cautious start in the face of some disciplined bowling and sharp fielding by Bangladesh.

606: DEBATE
soulcurry

That said, the pair kept the scoreboard ticking over at a healthy rate and, although Gambhir was dropped at backward point by Raqibul Hasan off Shahadat Hossain, they were rarely troubled.

Rohit responded to his partner's reprieve by smashing a six and a four off Shahadat's next two balls and dished out the same treatment to Rubel Hossain at the start of the sixth over.

The right-hander had made his way to 36 off 21 deliveries when he was bowled by Shakib Al Hasan - currently the top-ranked one-day all-rounder - but he had given India a firm platform from which to build.

Between overs eight and 14, Gambhir and Dhoni struggled to find the boundary, trading mainly in ones and twos, and India would not have been overly disappointed when Dhoni saw his stumps knocked back by Naeem Islam.

Unfortunately for Bangladesh, who knocked India out of the 2007 World Cup, that wicket brought Yuvraj to the crease and proved the catalyst for India's run-blitz.

Wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim missed a stumping chance when Yuvraj was on one and, from that moment on, the left-hander never looked back.

He flashed Shakib through point for four the next ball and, in the 17th over, clubbed Naeem for three magnificent sixes.

Gambhir fell in the same over - chipping Naeem to Shakib in the covers - but Yuvraj continued his cameo with a six and two fours off Rubel.

The 27-year-old, attempting to loft Shahadat for another maximum down the ground, was snapped up by Tamim Iqbal at long-off and Suresh Raina was bowled playing across the line to Rubel.

Pragyan Oja
Pragyan Ojha was named Man of the Match after taking 4-21

Just three balls of the innings remained when Irfan Pathan arrived at the crease but there was still enough time for the left-hander to cut a six and clip a four as India finished on a high.

Bangladesh deserve credit for the manner in which they set about their run-chase, Tamim working Zaheer Khan for back-to-back fours in the first over and Junaid Siddique pulling Irfan Pathan for six in the second.

Tamin will regret a moment of carelessness when he unnecessarily skipped down the wicket to Yusuf Pathan, completely missed the ball and was stumped by wicketkeeper Dhoni.

Siddique pressed ahead and kept his side in contention by driving Zaheer for two fours and, after being dropped by Ishant Sharma at mid-on, hoisting Yusuf over long-on for six.

But the loss of skipper Mohammad Ashraful, who drove Ishant straight to Gambhir in the covers, prompted a mini collapse and from then on the game was up for Bangladesh.

Boundaries became scarce and, shortly after Shakib top-edged Ojha's first ball into the gloves of Dhoni, Siddique slog-swept the spinner to Harbhajan Singh at deep mid-wicket.

By this point Bangladesh's run-rate had plummeted and Yuvraj took an excellent forward-diving catch at short fine-leg to remove Mahmudullah and give Ojha his third victim.

Yuvraj inexplicably put down Raqibul off Harbhajan but another couple of wickets arrived when Ojha clipped Mashrafe Mortaza's off stump and Raqibul heaved Zaheer down the throat of Ojha at mid-on.

A flurry of late sixes from Naeem had the Bangladesh supporters on their feet, but it was too little too late and the 22-year-old was picked up by Yuvraj at long-off two balls before the end.

"I suppose Yuvraj's innings and a couple of mistakes of ours with the bat decided the game. It was one over of his batting against Naeem there - three sixes - which was probably the telling point," said Bangladesh's Australian coach Jamie Siddons.

"Then we're just making one or two little mistakes. It's not our skill level any more, just one or two in the field and then a couple of batting decisions."



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