Fri, Feb 28, 2014 - Page 19 News List

Kohli wins battle of the captains

FRESH LEGS:Apart from tormenting Bangladesh’s bowlers by smashing 136 off 122 balls, India’s stand-in skipper Virat Kohli made the right decision to field

AFP, FATULLAH, Bangladesh

Virat Kohli won the battle of the captains as reigning World Cup champions India defeated hosts Bangladesh by six wickets in the second match of the Asia Cup in Fatullah on Wednesday.

Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim hit 117 off 113 balls, sharing a third-wicket stand of 133 with Anamul Haque (77), to lift the hosts to 279-7 after India elected to field.

Kohli, standing in for the injured Mahendra Singh Dhoni, then smashed 136 off 122 balls to steer India past the challenging target in 49 overs.

The prolific 25-year-old hit 16 boundaries and two sixes in his 19th one-day international (ODI) century, 17 of which have been in winning causes.

Ajinkya Rahane (73) provided valuable support to his captain, adding 213 for the third wicket with Kohli, after India were reduced to 54-2 by the 13th over of the day-night game.

Kohli, later named the man of the match, preferred to dwell on the team’s performance rather than his own stand-out batting.

“I am very happy with the way the team performed,” he said. “It was good to see everyone step up in the absence of Dhoni.”

“And it was very important for someone like Ajinkya to bat through the innings. He played beautifully. He is a very positive guy and works very hard. It was a good stand with him,” he added.

Bangladesh spinner Abdur Razzak, who attended the presentation ceremony instead of his captain, blamed the evening dew for the defeat.

“We had enough runs on the board, but the dew caused problems. It made it difficult to grip the ball and we had not anticipated that, but we will need to push more for runs if we bat first again,” Razzak said.

Earlier, Rahim hit seven fours and two sixes in his second one-day century, before he was dismissed in the final over after attempting a big hit.

Anamul and Rahim came together after opener Shamsur Rahman and Mominul Haque were removed by the 13th over with the score at 49.

Anamul smashed fast bowler Varun Aaron for two sixes to long-on, then reached his half-century with another six off Ravichandran Ashwin over the bowler’s head.

Aaron, who conceded 56 runs in 6.5 overs, finally found success when he bowled Anamul with the last ball of his seventh over, the 37th of the innings.

Rahim slammed two boundaries and a six when Aaron bowled next, but the batsman was hit on the chest by a full-toss delivery later in the same over and needed medical attention on the field.

Aaron, who had also sent down a full toss earlier in the match, was not allowed to bowl by the umpires for the rest of the innings and finished with expensive figures of one for 74 from 7.5 overs.

Seamer Mohammad Shami was the most impressive Indian bowler, with four for 50 from his 10 overs.

India are without Dhoni for the entire five-nation tournament due to a side strain suffered during their recent tour of New Zealand.

Bangladesh were missing injured opener Tamim Iqbal and premier all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who is serving a three-match ban on disciplinary grounds.

Shakib will also miss the home team’s second match against Afghanistan tomorrow.

Defending champions Pakistan, who were beaten by Sri Lanka in Tuesday’s tournament opener, were to take on minnows Afghanistan yesterday.

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