Two days after a morale-denting defeat against England, India restored order to their World Cup campaign with victory against Bangladesh to secure a place in the semi-finals.
Rohit Sharma scored his fourth century of the tournament. A feat that makes him the leading runscorer with 544.
For Bangladesh side, to maintain their own hopes of reaching the top four, this will feel like an opportunity missed.
In Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh perhaps has the player of the World Cup so far. But efforts made by him couldn’t able to save Bangladesh from ending on 286 in 48 overs.
A major mistake made by Tamim Iqbal changed the game, when he dropped Rohit Sharma. He went on to make 104 during a 180-run opening stand with KL Rahul.
Even after a decent comeback from Bangladesh’s bowlers, the 95 runs that Rohit Sharma added afterwards proved to be the deciding factor in this match given India’s margin of victory was 28 runs.
Steve Rhodes, Bangladesh’s English coach, admitted: “When you give guys like Rohit Sharma a chance you can pay the price. I was praying he’d hit another one in the air soon after. Tamim’s human, we’re all human and we’ve all dropped catches. Sometimes they can be very very costly and that one proved to be.”
India will not care one bit, with Virat Kohli, their captain, saying: “I have been watching Rohit for years now, he is the best ODI player around. He is a joy to watch and is having the tournament of his life.”
India complete their group campaign against Sri Lanka at Headingley on Saturday, but they are likely to return to Birmingham next week for a potential semi-final against England.
Eoin Morgan’s side has to beat New Zealand at Durham on Wednesday to set that up for the semi’s. But this result also gives them a backdoor route into the last four if they lose, with Bangladesh able to prevent the hosts’ early exit if they beat Pakistan on Friday.
Bangladesh had chased down 322 against West Indies earlier in the tournament. They rattled India here too, Kohli angrily confronting the on-field officials in the 12th over after losing an lbw review when third umpire Aleem Dar deemed Soumya Sarkar had edged the ball. When Hardik Pandya dismissed Sarkar three overs later, Kohli mouthed “out” and raised his finger.
Bangladesh reached the 30-over mark still in contention on 163 for four. They fought until the end, but not even a spirited half-century from Mohammad Saifuddin could deny India.