Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Kohli Continues Dream Run To Guide India To Victory

Virat Kohli's golden run of form continued as his unbeaten century guided India to a comprehensive six-wicket win over Bangladesh in game six of the Idea Cup One-Day International tri-series in Mirpur.

Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah scored half-centuries as Bangladesh rallied to reach 247 for seven but Kohli's 102 in 95 balls steered India past their target with seven overs to spare.

Having qualified for Wednesday's final, India chose to field first and had Bangladesh in trouble at 67 for four and 95 for five before Shakib (85) and Mahmudullah (64 not out) put on 106 for the sixth wicket.

The Indian bowlers continued where they left off during their demolition of Sri Lanka in game five, pacers Ashish Nehra, Sudeep Tyagi and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth all grabbing an early wicket before Yuvraj Singh ran out Raqibul Hasan backing up for 28 and had Mushfiqur Rahim caught by Suresh Raina for seven.

Shakib and Mahmudullah were forced to consolidate before going on the charge, Shakib hitting eight fours and a six and Mahmudullah striking five boundaries and one maximum.

After Shakib was caught by Mahendra Singh Dhoni off the bowling of Nehra, who finished with two for 58, Naeem Islam hit an unbeaten 22 in 14 balls to push Bangladesh towards a par score.

India then raced out of the blocks, Gautam Gambhir (41) and Dinesh Karthik (34) putting on 64 runs inside 12 overs before Karthik edged Shafiul Islam to Rahim and Gambhir played all round a straight delivery from Islam to be bowled.

Bangladesh sensed a way back into the contest, but Kohli was in unstoppable form, his quick scoring rate ensuring that a subdued Yuvraj Singh innings of 13 did not unduly affect the Indians' charge although the run-rate sped up once Yuvraj was trapped in front by the impressive Islam, who claimed two for 35 with his off-spin.

With Yuvraj departed, Kohil reached his half-century in 47 balls and added 68 in quick time with Dhoni, who hit 32 in 35 balls before he was caught by Imrul Kayes off Shakib and Kohli then accelerated, hitting 11 fours in all on his way to his 95-ball century, hitting the winning runs to reach his second ODI century.

Both unbeaten batsmen, Kohli and Suresh Raina (18) were dropped late on and on both occasions it was Mohammad Ashraful who failed to hold on but even if both chances had have been held, it would merely have delayed the inevitable as Bangladesh were outplayed in all departments.

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