Champions Trophy: India decimate Bangladesh to enter final

India booked a date with Pakistan in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy after brushing Bangladesh aside here on Thursday.

The gulf in class was evident at Edgbaston as India achieved a nine-wicket semifinal victory with the minimum of fuss.

Rohit Sharma, who scored his 11th one-day century, and Virat Kohli put on a commanding, unbroken 178-run (153b) partnership, ensuring India cantered to the target of 265 with nearly 10 overs to spare.

That Bangladesh made it as far as the semifinals — its first appearance in the last four at a major tournament — was impressive, but this was simply a step too far.

On a good batting surface under bright blue skies, the team had shown promise in the morning until Kedar Jadhav provided two vital breakthroughs with his occasional off-spin, removing Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim in the space of half an hour.

With a foot in the door, India simply did not let up, steadily breaking the back of the Bangladesh innings.

Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit ensured the run chase would be straightforward, feasting on a diet of wide and short-pitched deliveries.

Dhawan picked up from where he had left off against South Africa, cutting and driving through the offside with delight.

The pick of his shots, though, was an imperious pull — one foot off the ground as he swiveled — off Taskin Ahmed that sailed into the stands over square-leg.

The openers added 87 runs inside 15 overs, an alliance only broken when Dhawan was caught at point needlessly stepping out to Mashrafe Mortaza.

Toying with the bowling

Kohli and Rohit then took over, toying with the bowling.

Rohit was offered width, and he gleefully accepted it, threading drive after drive through the offside.

Successive fours off Rubel Hossain, when he found the boundary either side of point, exemplified the ease with which he was batting.

Rohit raised his hundred off 111 balls — a first in international cricket in 18 months — with a hook shot off Mustafizur Rahman that just evaded the fine-leg fielder.

Kohli would not be left too far behind.

He eased himself in — as he always does — before putting Bangladesh’s bowlers to the sword.

He finished unbeaten on 96, completing 8,000 career runs in the process, and Rohit on 123, as vociferous Indian supporters danced in the aisles. They will seek more joy at the Oval on Sunday.

In the morning, having been asked to bat, Bangladesh had been making swift progress with Tamim and Mushfiqur in control, handling India’s frontline spinners without trouble. Hardik Pandya had the left-hander chopping on for 17 but the Baroda all-rounder had overstepped — for the second time in that over.

Tamim survived and grew in confidence, soon stepping down the pitch to whip Pandya over the leg-side for six. Seventy-one runs had been added between the end of the 15th and 25th overs, with Tamim, who had just clouted Ashwin for a hat-trick of fours, looking in ominous form.

It was then that Kohli tossed the ball to Jadhav, who struck in his second over.

Tamim attempted to slog a gentle off-break out of the ground and was bowled neck and crop. He fell for 70, snapping a partnership of 123 for the third wicket.

Shakib was caught behind, trying to cut Jadeja off the back-foot. With the dot balls building up, and India’s spinners hurrying through their overs, the pressure rose on Bangladesh.

Mushfiqur yielded, stepping down the pitch, and driving Jadhav straight to Kohli mid-wicket.

It was all India needed to regain control.

Jasprit Bumrah was excellent again, taking two for 39 from his 10 miserly overs. Tamim’s exit had sparked a collapse of five for 70, before Mortaza’s agricultural blows at the end helped Bangladesh cross 250.

India would not even have to break sweat.

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