February 20th, 2011 by Ravi Matah | Posted in Sports   Comments Off on INDIA BEAT BANGLADESH
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Virender Sehwag slammed the highest score by an Indian against Bangla Desh in the inaugural match of the ICC World Cup match played at Mirpur. Bangla Desh won the toss and elected to field first keeping the dew factor in mind which might fall in the second part of the game so also that they find run chasing easier.Virat Kohli

Sehwag started the tournament with the usual flurry of shots. He sent the first ball of the match to the long-on boundary. Shafiul offered Sehwag width again and watched the final ball speed to the cover boundary. In his second over, Shafiul erred by offering Sachin Tendulkar two deliveries on the pads: both were flicked to the boundary. 

In between those overs, Rubel Hossain had conceded two boundaries as well, and India raced to 36 after four overs. That  forced Shakib to turn to his premier spinner, Abdur Razzak, in the fifth. 

Bangladesh looked clueless as to where to bowl to Sehwag. He drove the first ball off the bowling Powerplay to the long-on boundary and followed it up with an inside-out drive. And then they had some good fortune. A mix-up during which both Tendulkar and Sehwag were ball watching left both batsmen at one end, and the Mirpur crowd found its voice again. 

Sehwag reached his fifty with a six off Razzak over long off and India reached the 100 mark in the 15th over. 

In came Gautam Gambhir who looked well prepared for the occasion but later perished on a personal score of 39 runs. 

Thereafter it was on the shoulders of Virendra Sehwag and Virat Kohli to ensure that India made a good fighting total, which they eventually did. Virendra Sehwag picked his spots with ease and despite suffering from cramps in the later part of his innings compiled a neat 175 runs. 

Virat Kohli drove superbly reaching upto the pitch of the ball and piercing the fielders with utmost ease and managed to complete his century in his first World Cup match in the penultimate ball of the Indian innings. 

Bangladesh, however, took the mammoth task with guts and Imrul Kayes attacked from the outset after which Tamim Iqbal and Shakib took charge. They brought cheer to their supporters. However they could not bat as long as Sehwag and Kohli did. 

The pitch quickened in the evening, making shot-making easier, and the dew greased the outfield, making the ball harder to grip. But Bangladesh’s bowlers had conceded too many runs for their batsmen to regain. They tried, though, and the initial assault on the Indian bowlers was fierce. 

The highlight of that brief blitz was the attack on Sreesanth. Kayes edged, flicked, pulled and drove him for boundaries, and a wayward wide contributed to Bangladesh taking 24 runs off the fifth over. They were 51 for 0. Kayes then tried to force the slower pace of Munaf Patel, who replaced Sreesanth, through the off side and played on, ending the opening partnership at 56. 

Zaheer Khan’s control and the introduction of spin resulted in an increase in dot balls and a reduction in boundaries, and by the half-way stage the asking-rate was already rising upwards of 9 runs per over. 

Tamim and Shakib completed aggressive half-centuries and the rest of the batsmen also struck the ball fluently during a heartening display. 

Virender Sehwag was declared he Man of the Match.

Ravi Matah.

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