India demolish Bangla, sets up epic finals against Pakistan

Ross Houston
June 16, 2017

"They've turned around things for themselves really well", said Kohli.

Indian captain Virat Kohli admitted that the wickets Kedar Jadhav picked up in the semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 against Bangladesh were "a bonus" but said that the decision to bowl him came after a consultation with wicketkeeper MS Dhoni. Their turnabout has been magnificent.

The winners of this match will play Pakistan, who hammered England by eight wickets in Wednesday's first semi-final in Cardiff, in Sunday's final at the Oval in London.

Last time when Pakistan made it to the final of an ICC 50-over tournament was way back in 1999 World Cup, held in England, when they were defeated by Australia. Honestly, we never expected us to win by nine wickets but that is the quality we have at the top of the order. At the same time, there will be days, when you score a zero and still feel great as if you have won a game of cricket. We have seen some very surprising results.

"We both decided that Kedar is a good option at the moment, and he bowled really well".

Mashrafe Mortaza-captained Bangladesh were undone by a far superior India in the semifinal of ICC Champions Trophy. "We were on top when they were batting and I thought we could have scored 330 to 340 if they were there", Mashrafe was quoted as saying by Bangladesh's newspaper "The Daily Star" after Thursday's match which they lost by 9 wickets. "But I think we need to be a little bit more ready mentally for playing this sort of match", he said in the post-match press conference. Virat is the eighth Indian to aggregate 8,000 ODI runs.

Dhawan also surpassed former skipper Sourav Ganguly to become the highest scorer in the Champions Trophy event. "And on this wicket, a score of 260 or 270 is not even par".

Despite Bhuvneshwar sweeping up opener Soumya Sarkar (0) and one-down Sabbir Rahman (19) early on, the counter-attacking intent from the Bangladesh batsmen kept the scoreboard ticking.

Thereafter, Bangladesh skipper Mashrafee Mortaza (30 not out) and tailender Taskin Ahmed (11 not out) put on a 35-run undefeated eighth-wicket stand to help the side reach 264.

He said: "I think we could have had a big total, but when Tamim and Mushfiqur got out to a part-timer, it's always hard".

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. At the end of the day, the sem-final against Bangladesh proved to be a walk in the park for the Men in Blue.

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