Jun 152017
Shikhar Dhawan in action – (Reuters)

BIRMINGHAM: Solid batting by Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma has put India in a strong position in its chase of 265-run target. 

Earlier, disciplined bowling from Jasprit Bumrah and Kedar Jadhav restricted team Bangladesh to 264-run in the second semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy at Edgbaston on Thursday. 

Tamim Iqbal (70) and Mushfiqur Rahim (61) put on 123 for the third wicket but both fell to part-time off-spinner Kedar Jadhav (two for 22) when well set.

It needed some late-order hitting from Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza (30 not out) to take his side past 250 but the Tigers appeared to have fallen short of a really testing total given India´s powerful batting line-up.

The winners of this match will play Pakistan, who thrashed tournament hosts England by eight wickets in Cardiff on Wednesday, in Sunday´s final at The Oval in London

An entertaining 123 run third wicket partnership between Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim put Bangladesh in a strong position but their middle order failed to fully capitalise on that foundation.With a stronger middle and lower order contribution, they would have expected to reach around 300.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar claimed two early wickets for India – Soumya Sarkar dragging on in the first over and then Sabbir Rahman slashed a short ball to Ravindra Jadeja at backward point to leave Bangladesh at 36 for two.

India celebrate after dismissing Sabbir/AFP

Tamim was fortunate when he was bowled by Hardik Panya off a no-ball when he was on 17, but he took good advantage of the reprieve.

Together with Mushfiqur, Tamim took the game to India with some aggressive batting, taking calculated risks and scoring at a brisk pace as they brought up the century partnership off 104 balls with 10 fours and one six.

The breakthrough came after India had managed to slow down the run-rate and with the pressure on, Tamim lost his composure, bowling the part-time off-spin of Kedar Jadhav as he attempted a wild slog.

Shakib Al Hasan was superbly caught, off a bottom edge by MS Dhoni, stood up to spinner Ravindra Jadeja and then Jadhav struck again with the crucial wicket of Mushfiqur, whose mistimed shot was snaffled up by Virat Kohli at mid-wicket.

Bangladesh badly needed Mahmudullah, a century maker in the win over New Zealand last week, to regain the momentum but he was only able to make 21 off 25 balls before being bowled by a fine Jasprit Bumrah yorker.

Title holders India won the toss and opted to bowl against Bangladesh, who made history by reaching the semi-finals of an ICC tournament for the first time.

India captain Virat Kohli, speaking in a pre-match press conference, warned that his team would not take Bangladesh for granted.

“As we’ve seen, a lot of teams have surprised the opposition and we’re certainly not taking anything for granted.”

The star batsman added: “Going into a big game like this, we´re going to treat it as how we treated the last game. Our mindset does not differ.”

Bangladesh sealed their place in the last four with an impressive five-wicket victory over New Zealand in Cardiff.

They were looking at an embarrassing defeat when they slumped to 33 for four but Shakib Al Hasan (114) and Mahmudullah (102 not out) turned the match around with a brilliant new Bangladesh record stand of 224.

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