India set up a dream Champions Trophy 2017 final against Pakistan as they thumped Bangladesh by nine wickets in a one-sided semi-final at The Oval on Thursday. After a bright start, Bangladesh were restricted to a below-par 264/7 on a very good batting pitch which India chased down with only the loss of one wicket and 59 deliveries remaining.
Bangladesh lost opener Soumya Sarkar in the very first over as he played on to Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The right-arm pacer also accounted for Sabbir Rahman who hit four boundaries but ultimately went for one too many hitting an out-swinger straight to Ravindra Jadeja at point.
This brought Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim who steadily ticked along. Iqbal was tentative at the beginning and had some luck with Hardik Pandya dismissing him off a no-ball. The two put on an authoritative 123-run stand and looked good to unleash before a bowling change from Virat Kohli worked wonders. Kedar Jadhav was introduced into the attack and Iqbal looked to swipe across the line to him and was bowled, ending a promising partnership.
This brought about a flurry of wickets as Ravindra Jadeja got Shakib Al Hasan edging behind to MS Dhoni and Jadhav accouned for Rahim who hit a full toss straight to Kohli at mid-wicket. Bangladesh couldn’t get the impetus they needed in the last ten with Jasprit Bumrah showing off his death bowling skills and only a fighting 25-ball 30 from captain Mashrafe Mortaza managed to get them to 264/7 in their 50 overs.
But India were hardly troubled in the chase, racing off the blocks in a fluent start. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma continued their opening glory in the tournament putting on an almost run-a-ball 87-run opening partnership before Dhawan was dismissed caught off Mortaza against the run of the play.
This only brought out a charged-up Virat Kohli to the middle who extended Bangladesh’s misery with some sparkling drives and brought up a fifty in just 42 deliveries, embedded with 11 boundaries. Rohit Sharma also joined in on the fun, bringing up his first century in the tournament with a six off Mustafizur Rahman.
At the end, the only question was whether Virat Kohli could get to another ODI century while chasing. He became the quickest batsman in the format to get to 8000 runs in the knock but couldn’t get to the century, remaining unbeaten on a typically brilliant 78-ball 96. But it is unlikely that Kohli will be bothered with that as India completed a clinical victory to set up a final clash with Pakistan on Sunday.
Bangladesh 264/7 in 50 overs (Tamim Iqbal 70, Mushfiqur Rahim 61; Kedar Jadhav 2/22, Jasprit Bumrah 2/39) lost to India 265/1 in 40.1 overs (Rohit Sharma 123 not out, Virat Kohli 96 not out; Mashrafe Mortaza 1/29) by nine wickets