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Gambhir sets up win
12 May 2007
By: Alex Crampton

After some nerves in the series opener, India put out a much more comprehensive performance today with a 46-run victory over their South Asian counterparts.

Batting first, India made a brisk start, with Gambhir and Sehwag rattling up 43 in the first seven overs. Sehwag fell in an all too familiar manner, slogging one up to mid-off. Things calmed down with the introduction of Dhoni, again slotting in at number three.

Both rode their luck, there were catches falling inches short or wide and tough ones put down, but managed to add 87 for the second wicket. With Habibul Bashar setting reasonably defensive fields for his spinners, plenty of singles were there for the taking.

When Dhoni edged behind off Rafique, Yuvraj joined Gambhir, and struck a cameo of 24. By this time, Gambhir was struggling with cramp in the intense heat, but still marched on towards three figures. He was still able to use his fate to manoeuvre the ball deftly through the infield off the spinners, an invaluable asset in one day cricket.

The death overs were not as productive as India would have liked, given the excellent position Gambhir's hundred had put them in. Gambhir himself fell on 101 with a tired swipe, and the lower order batsmen were unable to get in and strike boundaries. Rahul Dravid mustered what he could, and shepherded India to 284-9 with an unbeaten 42.

With the total a daunting one, India's opening seamers, Munaf Patel and Zaheer Khan, were able to keep it relatively tight. More importantly, India were able to make inroads into the Bangladeshi order. Tamim Iqbal was run out for 7, and Zaheer Khan removed Javed Omar and Saqibul Hasan for low scores.

Aftab Ahmed stuck around in his typically aggressive fashion, he scored 40. His charges down the wicket, and flicks over fine leg gave Bangladesh brief hope, but something more substantial was required.

As Bangladesh's spinners were unable to, the Indian duo of Romesh Powar and debutant Piyush Chawla were able to tie the Bangladeshis down and take wickets in the middle overs. Chawla's wrong-un proved difficult to play, and gave him the wicket of Ashraful, while Powar found enough spin to bowl Aftab Ahmed.

The required rate was rising, and Bangladesh were not helped by their captain. He took 88 balls to score 43, before becoming Chawla's second victim. Mushfiqur Rahim was played more in the vein that was needed, with 35 from 43 balls, but fell sweeping.

The match was now gone for Bangladesh, but Mashrafe Mortaza showed they still had some fight with a belligerent 42 from 22 balls, including four consecutive sixes hit off Dinesh Mongia. Bangladesh eventually finished their allocation of 49 overs (the match was reduced by one over a side due to rain) 46 short of India's total.

India 284-9 (49)
Gautam Gambhir 101, Rahul Dravid 42*
Mohammad Rafique 3-59, Syed Rasel 2-59

Bangladesh 238-9 (49)
Habibul Bashar 43
Piyush Chawla 3-37, Zaheer Khan 2-32

India win by 46 runs

Cricket Web Man of the Match: Gautam Gambhir

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