Bangladesh draw first blood in India

Mushfiqur Rahim redeemed himself in a spectacular fashion, hitting an unbeaten half-century to guide Bangladesh their maiden Twenty20 international win over India in the first of three-match series in Delhi on Sunday. 

Mushfiq struck 60 off 43 balls with eight fours and a six as the Tigers reached 154-3 in 19.3 overs for a seven-wicket win and take a 1-0 lead in the series after restricting India to 148-6 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.

The win could not have come at a better time when the Tigers were grappling with many odds, having arrived in India after a players’ revolt and two-year suspension to their regular skipper Sakib al Hasan.

The ghost of past failures against India also hunted Bangladesh, who had to do something special to overcome the mental barrier that made them suffering defeats in some close matches in recent years.

Fittingly, Mushfiqur Rahim led the way for Bangladesh with his fifth Twenty20 international fifty after his pre-mature celebration saw the Tigers suffer an one-run loss three years ago in Bangalore in the ICC World Twenty20.

Mahmudllah, who had to share part of the blame for that heartbreaking defeat at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium as he and Mushfiq could not score two runs from three balls, struck the winning shot in the massive turnaround of fortune.

Mahmudullah hoisted debutant Shivam Dube for a six when one run was needed from four balls to ensure history did not repeat in Delhi as Bangladesh finally managed to beat India in India in any format.

The Tigers, however, owed it to Mushfiq, who struck Khaleel Ahmed four consecutive fours in the penultimate over to leave the equation four runs needed from the last six balls.

Unlike Bangalore, Mushfiq did not bump his chest after he brought his fifty with scoop past the fine leg boundary or did not scream despite seeing the victory coming.

India will rue dropping Mushfiq on 38 when Krunal Pandya put down a straight forward catch off Yuzvendra Chahal, the only Indian bowler who looked threatening.

Despite restricting India to a gettable score, Bangladesh felt a sense of deja vu when opener Liton Das was dismissed for seven in the first over of the innings off Deepak Chahar.

But debutant Mohammad Naim played some spectacular shots to add 46 runs for the second wicket with Soumya Sarkar, putting Bangladesh in the driving seat. 

Chahal broke the stand as Naim skied a catch to Shikhar Dhawan but Soumya stayed unusually calm to help Bangladesh regain the control.

Soumya and Mushfiq put 60 runs for the third wicket, without showing any real urgency with bagful wickets in hands. 

When Khaleel bowled Soumya for 37 runs, India sniffed a chance but Mushfiq ensured there was no more heartbreak for Bangladesh in what was the 1000th Twenty20 international overall.

Bangladesh dominated the game from the beginning after Mahmudullah won the toss and opted to bowl first readily in the milestone game, keeping the dew factor in mind.

Shafiul Islam provided a big breakthrough in the very first over when he trapped an in-form Indian Rohit Sharma leg-before in the first over before rookie leg-spinner Aminul Islam made his mark.

Aminul outfoxed Lokesh Rahul in his first over and then also took the wicket of Shreyas Iyer for 22, which did not allow India to run away with the game.

Dhawan kept his cool to score 41 off 42 balls while Pandya (15 not out) and Washington Sundar (14 not out) hit some late blows in an unbroken 28-run stand off just 10 balls to give India something to fight with.

Shaifiul and Aminul finished with 2-36 and 2-22 respectively. The second match of the series will be held in Rajkot on November 7.

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