India negotiated a tricky target to win the first one-day international against Bangladesh in Dhaka in a rain-hit contest.
Bangladesh hit 272 in their innings to give India an uphill task. India replied strongly through Ajinkya Rahane and Robin Uthappa, but play was delayed for almost three hours amidst a torrential downpour.
India returned to face a reduced target of 150 as the Duckworth-Lewis method was applied, and they would go on to reach that milestone with seven balls remaining.
Bangladesh had set India a challenging task by posting 272 for nine in their 50 overs. Umesh Yadav dismissed Bangladesh's Tamim Iqbal for a duck early on, and that looked like it would set the tone for a match between the South Asian neighbours.
His replacement, Mominul Haque, fared a little better in the face of Yadav's onslaught as he edged into the welcoming hands of Wriddhiman Saha for six. This wasn't a collapse, but Bangladesh were startled rabbits in the glare of the on-form Yadav.
|Tamim Iqbal||c Saha||b Yadav||0||11|
|Anamul Haque||c Rayudu||b Rasool||44||60|
|Mominul Haque||c Saha||b Yadav||6||17|
|Mushfiqur Rahim||c Rahane||b Rasool||59||63|
|Shakib Al Hasan||c Raina||b Raina||52||58|
|Nasir Hossain||c Rahane||b Mishra||22||20|
|Ziaur Rahman||c Raina||b Yadav||2||3|
|Mashrafe Mortaza||b Patel||18||10|
|Abdur Razzak||not out||16||12|
|Al-Amin Hossain||not out||1||2|
|Total||for 9||272||50 overs|
Luckily for them, Anamul Haque and Mushfiqur Rahim were not so easily dismissed. The pair knocked 44 and 59 respectively as Bangladesh settled into their innings. And when when Parvez Rasool removed Haque for his first international wicket, he was replaced by the similarly obstinate Shakib Al Hasan, who joined up with Rahim to hit 52 runs of his own.
This was Al Hasan's 56th one-day half century.
Bangladesh grew impressively into the innings, showing great consistency in their middle order. Mahmudullah Riyad stepped up to hit 41 of his own. In truth, it was only to be Ziaur Rahman, dismissed for two, who would disappoint after Bangladesh's lacklustre opening.
Indeed, their tail wagged sufficiently to send them into the pavilion having knocked 272 for nine from their 50 overs—a fine effort given the slow nature of the pitch.
India's response was as industrial as it was impressive.
Uthappa and Rahane led the Indian charge out of the blocks, Uthappa hitting three fours and three sixes on his way to 50. Rahane was similarly impressive for India and he smashed four fours and a six to reach 46 before rain stopped play.
But the downpour did not come soon enough to save Uthappa as the Kolkata Knight Riders man was dismissed for his 50 courtesy of an LBW bowled by Al Hasan.
And with that the heavens opened. ESPN cricinfo reported on the delays that stopped play for almost three hours. India's innings was duly reduced to 26 overs with a target of 150 set courtesy of the Duckworth-Lewis method.
|RV Uthappa||lbw||Shakib Al Hasan||50||44|
|AM Rahane||c Rahman||b Mortaza||64||70|
|CA Pujara||lbw||Al Hasan||0||5|
|AT Rayudu||not out||16||19|
|SK Raina||not out||15||11|
|Total||for 3||153||24.5 overs|
India's return to the crease was inauspicious. Cheteshwar Pujara, who replaced Uthappa, was dismissed without score by Al Hasan. Rahane was taking responsibility for steering India home, and the Mumbai slugger eased to 64 before being dismissed by Mortaza.
But despite the loss of Rahane, Raina and Rayudu eased the visitors home with seven balls remaining.
This was a fine effort from the Bangladesh side, who without the prolonged rain delay may have tested their neighbours sill further. As it was, India took a somewhat fortuitous 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Indian captain Suresh Raina was relieved following the match. Sports.ndtv.com reported his comments:
It was very tough to adapt to the 50-over format, especially for bowlers. These were the toughest conditions. Was a treat to watch Uthappa bat. Hopefully Rahane and Uthappa will continue to bat the way they did today.
Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim bemoaned his side's total but was magnanimous in defeat. Sports.ndtv.com also reported his comments.
We were 20 runs short in our first innings but the Indian batsmen were very good. Hopefully we will come back strong.
And if anyone needed clarification of the importance of this series on the sub-continent, Sanjay Jha reminded his followers on Twitter of this statistic in the month when the world is transfixed by the FIFA World Cup in Brazil:
Fact; there will be more viewers for the Bangladesh-India cricket match today than the finals of the World cup football next month.— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) June 15, 2014
Victory in Mirpur on Tuesday would see the Indians secure the series before they head to England for a five-Test series. The Bangladesh side head for more tropical climes, as they play a two-Test series against the West Indies in August.
Such a promising display against India will give them confidence heading west to face Chris Gayle and Co.