India defeated Bangladesh by 5 runs in a rain-soaked tie at the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday. With a reduced over innings for Bangladesh, and Litton Das firing up front, the Men in Blue faced a close contest in their latest Super 12 tie for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.
Bangladesh had won the toss and decided to bowl. While skipper Rohit Sharma dropped early, KL Rahul pushed on with a 32-ball 50, smashing 4 sixes and 3 fours. He was joined by Virat Kohli, who scored yet another unbeaten half century, amassing 64 off 44 balls, with 8 fours and a single six. Add to that the two helpful cameos by Surya Kumar Yadav (30 off 16, 4 fours) and Ravichandran Ashwin (13 off 6, 1 four and 1 six), and India sat pretty at 184/6 by the end of their 20 overs.
But the Bangla Tigers had come to fight. In one of the most lop-sided partnerships in a long time, Das raced off to a 27-ball 60, blasting 7 fours and 3 sixes, even as Najmul Hossain Shanto remained dormant at a single-digit score on the other end. Bangladesh was cruising at a run rate above 9, and without the loss of wickets, when the rain gods descended. When the match resumed, Das was run out in a hurry by Rahul, chasing a revised target of 151. Even though Shanto looked set to unleash his fury, Indian bowlers kept scalping wickets at a regular interval. In the end, they were restricted to 145 for 6.
Earlier in the day, Netherlands defeated Zimbabwe, practically ending the African nation’s campaign.
India will not technically be through until the final round of matches, with Rohit Sharma’s side playing the last game in the group. If South Africa beat Pakistan and then Pakistan beat Bangladesh, nobody can replace India in the top two.
And even if results go against India, leaving them outside of the qualification spaces at the start of that match against Zimbabwe, a win will certainly send them into the semis – nobody other than South Africa can reach the eight points that a win in that game would give India.
Pakistan, on the other hand, simply must beat South Africa on Thursday. Fail to win that match and their qualification hopes are done. If Pakistan do win against the Proteas then they will need another victory in their fifth and final match against Bangladesh, preferably by a decent margin to give them a strong final NRR just in case that is a deciding factor.
In those circumstances they could finish above India should there be a shock Zimbabwe win in the final group match. Or they could finish above South Africa if either the Dutch do them a favour with an upset in that game, or if rain prevents a result and Pakistan have managed to overtake the Proteas on NRR.