Dhaka: Yuvraj Singh struck his maiden ODI century — an unbeaten 102 — as India crushed Bangladesh by 199 runs in the opening match of the TVS Cup tri-series Friday.
Yuvraj rescued India from a middle-order slump and took the team to an imposing 276 off 49.3 overs. The bowlers responded well and bundled out Bangladesh for 77 to script India’s biggest victory (runs wise) in ODIs. This was Bangladesh’s second-lowest total, their lowest being the 76 all out against Sri Lanka in Colombo last year.
India were struggling at 172 for six at one stage before Yuvraj, whose previous best was unbeaten 98 against Sri Lanka in 2001, cut loose and changed the complexion of the game. His 85-ball knock contained nine boundaries and four sixes and won him the Man-of-the-Match award.
Chasing 277 to win, the home team was never in the hunt after losing two wickets in the first two overs. It was their 33rd consecutive defeat in ODIs.
| Zaheer: Four for 19
The Indian fast bowlers accounted for nine of the ten wickets, with Zaheer Khan taking four for 19. Ajit Agarkar took three wickets, while debutant Avishkar claimed two for 15. Harbhajan Singh got the other one.
Bangladesh began disastrously as Salvi, who shared the new ball with Zaheer, got rid of Mehrab Hossain with his fifth ball. Zaheer sent back Tushar Imran in the next over to leave the hosts gasping at five for two.
The 21-year-old Salvi generated a fair amount of pace on the placid track and rocked the home team again with the wicket of Mohammad Ashraful with Virender Sehwag latching on to a sharp chance at second slip. None of the Bangladeshi batsmen looked comfortable as the Indians maintained a nagging line and length, giving away very few runs in the early stages. Alok Kapali did not last long and ballooned a catch to Salvi in the deep while going for a big hit against Zaheer.
The hosts received another blow soon after when Khaled Mashud was dismissed by Agarkar, who also picked up a wicket in his first over. Mashud failed to read an incoming delivery and was trapped in front of the wicket. The procession continued as veteran Akram Khan fell to Agarkar with Parthiv Patel holding on to an outside edge to expose the tailenders.
Earlier, India started at a brisk pace after electing to bat. Opening bowlers Monjural Islam and Tapash Baisya were erratic in the initial stages. Debutant Gautam Gambhir, who took first strike, got a reprieve when he was on three as his mistimed pull landed short of Monjural. Sehwag was his natural aggressive self after a watchful start and played some delightful strokes on both sides of the wicket.
The new opening pair had put on 46 before Baisya dismissed the left-handed Gambhir for 11. The Delhi youngster edged a rising delivery to wicketkeeper Mashud. Sourav Ganguly joined the action but it was Sehwag who launched a savage assault and raced to his half-century.
Sehwag was particularly severe on anything pitched short and brought up his 50 in style, clobbering Baisya for a mighty six over long-on. But his belligerence, as usual, led to his downfall as he fell to Mohammed Rafique.
The run-rate dropped after Sehwag’s dismissal and Sourav and Mohammed Kaif seemed happy to pick singles and couples with nudges and pushes. The skipper got a life when Kapali dropped a fairly simple catch off Khaled Mahmud with the batsman on 11. Sourav and Kaif took the score to 132 before the hosts struck twice in the space of 12 runs. Kapali got rid of Sourav after being hit for a six, Rafique taking a good catch at long-on. Sourav hit two sixes and a four in his 47-ball 30.Kaif followed his captain to the dressing room soon after as he played across the line to be caught behind off Sanuar Hossain. Dinesh Mongia’s poor run continued and he fell for three, trapped leg-before by Kapali who bowled a nagging length. (PTI)