Mirpur: Virender Sehwag unleashed a stunning display of strokeplay to smash a blistering 175 as India launched their cricket World Cup campaign with an emphatic 87-run victory over Bangladesh.
It has been a spectacular start to the World Cup 2011 for India and for Virender Sehwag. So many records were broken by Viru at Mirpur. He scored his highest ODI score, he scored the highest by any batsman in the world at Mirpur and his score was the highest by an Indian batsman against Bangladesh. Our Viru has 14 hundreds to his ODI kitty and India have won on 14 occasions. Incredible. Let us salute the ‘Nawab of Najafgarh’ by looking at all the priceless gems of his ODI career.
Sehwag, who defied a hit on the knee, was in a murderous mood as he combined with young Virat Kohli (100 not out) to propel India to an imposing 370 for four before the visitors restricted the minnows 283 for nine to avenge the shock defeat in the last edition. Although the Bangladeshi batsmen made a valiant effort, the target proved much too stiff and ultimately lost their way as the asking rate kept mounting.
Tamim Iqbal (70) and and skipper Shakib Al Hasan (55) were the notable contributors for Bangladesh.For India, Munaf Patel was the star performer with the ball with figures of four for 48 while Zaheer Khan also chipped in with two wickets for 41 runs. Put into bat, Sehwag virtually toyed with the hapless Bangladeshi bowlers to notch up his 14th ODI century with a breathtaking array of strokes while Kohli completed his century in the penultimate ball of the inning.
The scintillating show by the due ensured that India, unlike the last time when they lost to Bangladesh by five wickets, started their World Cup quest on a resounding note. India will now take on England in their second Group-B league match in Bangalore on February 27.
Sehwag hammered as many as 14 boundaries and five sixes during his 140-ball 175 while Kohli’s unbeaten 83-ball 100 contained eight boundaries and two sixes. Sachin Tendulkar (28) and Gautam Gambhir (39) got starts but could not capitalise on it, though Tendulkar was distinctly unlucky to be run out.
The Bangladeshi innings began with a flourish as both the openers Iqbal and Imrul Kayes (34) played a few attacking shots, particularly against S Sreesanth who tended to err in line and length in his opening spell. The opening pair put on a brisk 56 runs in 6.5 overs before paceman Munaf Patel provided the breakthrough by castling Kayes for 34.
Iqbal and Junaid Siddique (37) ensured that there were no immediate jolts for the hosts as they batted cautiously without taking too many risks. But as a result, the asking rate continued to mount as the two Bangladeshi batsmen found it difficult to hit the Indian spinners.
India 370 for 4 (Sehwag 175, Kohli 100*) beat Bangladesh 283 for 9 (Tamim 70, Shakib 55, Munaf 4-48) by 87 runs