Got your breath back after India’s last ball win against Bangladesh? What a game! The last over reads 144WWW but it really doesn’t tell the whole story, does it?
India had to win this game to stay in control of their destiny in the WT20. After a desperate loss against New Zealand in Nagpur, we reignited our campaign in Eden Gardens by cruising home against Pakistan, courtesy another Kohli special. Coming to Bangalore, Bangladesh was another must win game for India.
After losing the toss, an unusually subdued batting line up produces 146 against a disciplined Bangladeshi bowling line-up. Soumya Sarkar’s catch to dismiss a dangerous looking Pandya deserves a mention.
Defending a below par total, India look down and out and various points. Bumrah misfields first ball to allow Tamim Iqbal to get off the mark with a boundary. Bumrah drops a simple chance at short fine leg off Tamim before India concede 22 runs in 7 balls, 16 off those coming off Bumrah’s second over.
India strike back with two Dhoni stumpings. The first one dismisses Tamim off a ball that keeps really low. The second one is timed to perfection, just as Shabbir’s foot comes off the ground. Amazing awareness by the Indian skipper!
Mashrafe and Shakib find the boundary a few times. Jadeja and Ashwin take them out with some terrific bowling.
Each time India produce a wicket, Bangladesh hit boundaries to keep the run chase on track. The momentum swings wildly both ways.
21 required off 14.
Sarkar and Mahmudullah cobble together a partnership. Bumrah and Nehra bowl tightly and India field well. Sarkar goes to a Nehra full toss, caught by Kohli at long on. Mahmudullah cracks a boundary through extra cover last ball.
17 required off 12.
Bumrah, India’s villain of the match until then, bowls a superb over to give away only six runs. Yorker after yorker. Stunning.
11 required off 6.
With all the front line bowlers having completed their overs, Hardik Pandya is handed the ball. Nehra is giving him advice. Ashwin is speaking to him. Dhoni is in his ear.
First ball, smashed by Mahmudullah to the point boundary where Jadeja fields it. Indian fans breathe a sigh of relief.
10 required off 5.
Second ball, Mushfiqur smashes a short wide ball to the extra cover fence. Too far for either fielder to stop. Indian fans hold their heads in disbelief. Are India about to be thrown out of their own party by a guest invited at the last minute?
6 required off 4.
Third ball, fine leg is up Mushfiqur shuffles to the off side to scoop the ball. Dhoni is beaten and so is short fine leg. Boundary. Mushfiqur screams, pumps his fists in Pandya’s face. The Bangladeshi players are celebrating. The Bangladeshi fans are going wild. Indian fans start looking for their car keys for the long, morose drive home.
2 required off 3.
Fourth ball, Mushfiqur is cramped by a shortish delivery from Pandya and hits it straight to Shikhar Dhawan on the mid-wicket boundary who casually completes the catch. Pandya has a wry smile on his face. This is still Bangladesh’s game.
2 required off 2 balls.
Fifth ball, having crossed over while the ball was in the air, Bangladesh’s hero Mahmudullah is on strike. The fifth ball is a poor one. A full toss on leg stump. Mahmudullah hoicks it high to mid-wicket. On another day, that’s out of the ground. Not today, though. Ravindra Jadeja covers a massive amount of ground to complete a superb running catch. Talk about holding your nerve under pressure. It’s his turn to scream. He is joined by every Indian in the ground. The noise of the crowd is deafening. India believe again.
2 required off 1 ball.
Sixth ball, Dhoni takes off one glove. He wants to be able to throw the ball accurately. He takes his time setting his field. Ashwin apparently suggests a quick mankad. Pandya comes in, the ball itself is short and wide, flirting with the wide line. The batsman flails at it and misses. Dhoni collects with one glove. The striker sets off for the bye that will tie the game and send it into a super over. The non-striker Mustafizur hesitates. In that moment, Dhoni calculates that he need not throw the ball. That he will back himself to reach the stumps before Mustafizur reaches his crease. They both sprint. Dhoni demolishes the stumps. Not quite like Jonty’s run out of Inzamam but it’s good enough to catch Mustafizur short. The third umpire confirms the decision. Indians everywhere erupt.Dhoni has done it again off the last ball.
India win by 1 run and stay alive in the WT20.
Those of you who remember Kumble and Srinath batting India to a win against Australia in the Titan Cup while the cameras focussed to their nervous mothers, will know that Bangalore is a place where miracles have been known to happen. After all, Venkatesh Prasad uprooted Sohail’s stumps here in 1996 World Cup as well.
Last night, we witnessed another sporting miracle in Bangalore (or a meltdown of epic proportions, depending on how you look at it).
Here is a video of the last over for you to watch over and over again!