Charge of young brigade
Pacer Deepak Chahar took a sensational six-wicket haul, including a hat-trick after sublime half-centuries from Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul, as India defeated a self-destructing Bangladesh by 30 runs in the third and final T20I to clinch the series 2-1 at the VCA Stadium on Sunday.
Chahar (6/7 in 3.2 overs), registering the best figures in a T20I besides becoming the first Indian to take a hat-trick in the shortest format, and Shivam Dube (3/30) shared nine wickets amongst themselves to secure India’s first T20I series win at home this year.
Heavy dew from late evening made the going tougher for spinners, but Chahar and Dube rose to the occasion that enabled India to romp home in the end.
“I hadn’t thought something like this would happen, not even in my dreams… So I’m obviously delighted,” Chahar said during the post-match presentation.
“I have been trying to work hard since my childhood and my efforts have paid off... The plan was to bowl upfront with the new ball. I was told I would be bowling the crucial overs... Happy the team management gave me that responsibility,” Chahar added.
After being sent into bat, India rode cracking knocks from Rahul and Iyer (dropped on nought at point) that propelled them to a challenging 174/5. In reply, the visitors, despite being well placed after 12 overs, were all out for 144 with four balls remaining.
With 50 needing off the last 30 balls and six wickets in hand, Bangladesh had a great opportunity to win the series. But they crumbled under pressure.
Stand-in captain Rohit Sharma certainly acknowledged the crucial role his bowlers played, especially after India’s loss in the opening game in New Delhi. For Rohit, this was one of the best comebacks for India in the shortest version.
“It were the bowlers who won us the game. I know I have to say that being a batsman, but I know how tough it was given the dew.
“This has to be one of the best comebacks in this format for India.
“It was easy for Bangladesh at one stage, with 70 (69 to be precise) needed off the last eight overs. But the boys showed character and took up the responsibility,” Rohit emphasised.
“It was good to see young players putting their hands up. I just reminded the boys that we’re playing for India. Our body language was a little off in the first eight overs, but then we saw a different Team India.”
For Bangladesh, rookie opener Mohammad Naim (81) played a blinder to take Bangladesh deep before they lost five wickets for 20 runs to blow it all away.