Deepak Chahar registered the best figures in the history of T20I cricket as India won the three-match T20I series against Bangladesh 2-1. The contest in Nagpur saw individual brilliance from the players steal all the limelight, as India’s quality eventually prevailed in the end. They won the contest by 30 runs against a spirited Bangladesh side, who tried their level best till the very end to stay alive in the contest.
Iyer, Rahul help India to a competitive score
Winning the toss, Bangladesh opted to bowl first. The decision paid rich dividends immediately, as Indian skipper Rohit Sharma was soon back in the pavilion. Shikhar Dhawan’s poor run also continued, as he played a laboured knock of 19 off only 16 deliveries. It was now up to KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer to provide some impetus to the Indian innings. They did that brilliantly, playing some cracking shot off their willows. They were especially severe against the spinners, taking them to the cleaners. The partnership of 59 put the hosts on the front foot.
Rahul was initially the aggressor, showing why he is so highly rated in the shortest format of the game. After he was dismissed on 52, Iyer picked up the mantle to take the attack to the bowlers. He brought his maiden T20I half-century in the process, continuing his rise through the ranks in Indian cricket. Looking to up the ante, he was eventually dismissed by Sarkar on 62.
Manish Pandey then played some clever strokes in his brief cameo of 22 off 13 deliveries. His efforts took India to a competitive score of 174-5, which was always going to be a good total on a sometimes sluggish Nagpur pitch.
Chahar’s historic feat hands India the series
Defending the total, Deepak Chahar got India off to a sensational start. In the third over of the contest, he dismissed Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar in consecutive deliveries. Bangladesh now had to play out of their skins in order to stay competitive.
Naim and Mithun did exactly that, first weathering the storm and then taking the attack to the bowlers. They established a 98 run stand, the highest for a Bangladeshi pair against India. Naim, in particular, looked in ominous form, playing some breathtaking strokes. Mithun though reserved, provided able support.
It was Chahar again, who broke the partnership as Mithun’s knock of 27 came to an end. Mushfiqur Rahim would soon follow suit, with Shivam Dube getting into the act. Chahar would then dismiss the dangerous Naim on 81, to put India firmly in command of the contest. Bangladesh would then endure a mini-collapse as the contest all but got away from them. Dube would pick up a couple of more scalps, while Chahal who endured a tough day due to the dew factor, would also get his 50th T20I wicket.
In the end, the equation got out of Bangladesh’s hands, with them requiring 31 runs off the final over. Chahar would quickly end things, getting back-to-back dismissals of Mustafizur and Aminul. This completed his hat-trick, registering sensational figures of 6/7 in 3.2 overs. The figures were the best in the history of T20I cricket, overtaking 6/8 by Ajantha Mendis vs Zimbabwe in Hambantota in 2012. India were certainly grateful, as they celebrated another series victory in the preparation for the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia.