Dhaka [Bangladesh], December 7 (ANI): Bangladesh survived a late blitz from an injured Rohit Sharma to secure a narrow five-run win to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series at the Shere Bangla National Stadium here on Wednesday.
Playing with a heavily bandaged left thumb, the gallant half-century from the Indian captain could not save India from a consecutive ODI series defeat in Bangladesh as Mustafizur Rahman defended 20 runs from the last over to secure a win for his team.
Ebadot Hossain fired again with the ball and picked up three wickets while centurion Mehidy Hasan Miraz also chipped in with two scalps. Shreyas Iyer top-scored for India with a patient inning of 82 runs.
In a game that ebbed and flowed, India were tottering at 208/7 with no hope of making a match out of the run-chase, but the Indian captain came out to bat and went for the leather to give the Bangladeshi team a major scare. The skipper tried to pull a heist at the fag end of the innings but fell short of one big hit on the last ball of the inning.
India began the chase with star batter Virat Kohli opening the inning with Shikhar Dhawan instead of Rohit Sharma. The Indian captain did not open the inning after injuring his hand while fielding in the slip cordon.
The Indian team got off to a poor start as they lost both Virat and Dhawan in the first three overs. Virat played on while attempting a pull off Ebadot Hossain and was dismissed for 5(6).
Dhawan was beaten for bounce as the ball bowled by Mustafizur Rahman crept in sharply, to take him by surprise and the Left-hander could only manage a glove as the ball looped up in air to be pouched by Mehidy Hasan Miraz.
Shreyas Iyer and Wahington Sundar tried to see off the first 10 overs, where the ball was moving around and probing the batsman but the left-hander was dismissed on the last ball of the 10th over to leave India tottering at 39/3 at the end of the first powerplay.
Sundar was promoted up the order given his recent robust performances with the bat in the last few innings but the all-rounder failed to grab the opportunity and was dismissed by Shakib Al Hasan trying to knock the ball into the leg-side with hard hands.
Last match's top-scorer for India, KL Rahul walked onto the crease and looked like he would steady the Indian inning with Iyer who has been in top-notch form in ODIs in 2022, but the right-hander departed in the 19th over.
Rahul was dismissed for 14(28) by Hasan Miraz while trying to play a cross-batted shot on a pitch that lacked bounce and was caught plumb in front of the stumps.
Left-handed all-rounder Axar Patel walked onto the crease and showcased his prowess with the willow as he smashed a superb fifty. The left-hander was fluent in his stroke-making and took the burden of the scoreboard pressure while keeping India in the chase.
The southpaw found boundaries at regular intervals which helped Iyer to play the role of a sheet anchor.
While Iyer reached his fifty in 69 balls in the 25th over, Axar brought up his fifty in the 36th over of 50 balls.
The duo were cruising along with the partnership and looked certain to take India home but the centurion from the first inning got rid of Iyer against the flow of the game to help Bangladesh claw their way back.
Iyer scored 82(102) and stitched a huge fifth-wicket partnership of 107 runs to keep India in the reckoning.
Bangladesh got rid of set batter Axar Patel in the 39th over to dampen India's hopes of chasing the target successfully to keep the series alive.
With a batter short in Rohit Sharma, it was a perfect platform for all-rounders Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar to put in match-winning performances and throw in their hats for the all-rounder's spot but both the players failed to make an impact.
While Thakur scored 7(23) before getting stumped to Shakib, Chahar who was batting with a hamstring injury scored 11(18).
Rohit Sharma walked into bat with a heavily bandaged left thumb in an attempt to take India over the line and played an unbeaten blistering inning of 51(28). He smashed five monstrous sixes and three boundaries but fell short by a huge hit to see India home.
India needed 20 of the last over and fell short by 5 runs as the valiant effort from the wounded skipper fell short.
Earlier, Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Mahmudullah steadied Bangladesh after an early shock with a 148-run partnership for the seventh wicket to post a challenging 271/7 against India.
Miraz was the top scorer for Bangladesh with an unbeaten 100 of 83 balls while Mahmudullah played a crucial knock of 77 runs of 96 deliveries. For India, Washington Sundar bagged three while Mohammed Siraj and Umran Malik claimed two wickets each.
Brief Score: Brief score: Bangladesh 271/7 (Mehidy Hasan Miraz 100, Mahmudullah 77, Washington Sundar 3-37) vs India 266-9 (Shreyas Iyer 82, Axar Patel 56; Ebadot Hossain 3-45). (ANI)