India hit the ground running, as they say, with a very good all-round performance a confident Bangladesh -- winning the final warm-up match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The two-time champions also found answers to that nagging number four problem, with talented KL Rahul all but sealing the spot. Then, there was MS Dhoni's form. The legend is in the mood, and that augurs well for India. But Indian top order continues to struggle against the moving ball.
In another warm-up match, West Indies overwhelmed New Zealand. The real fight begins the day after tomorrow with hosts pre-tournament favourites hosting perennial bridesmaids South Africa at The Oval. By the way, Dale Steyn has been ruled out of tournament opener.
Rahul (108 off 99 balls) took the attack back to the opposition after early dismissals while Dhoni's free-spirited approach also got him a century (113 off 78 balls) as their 164-run stand powered India to 359 for 7 against a Bangladesh attack that went off the boil.
Bangladesh batsmen barring Liton Das (73) and Mushfiqur Rahim (90), who added 120 runs for the third wicket, were never in charge. They were all-out for 264 in 49.3 overs.
If Rahul and Dhoni were the biggest positives to have emerged from batting, Kuldeep Yadav (3/47 in 10 overs) and Yuzvendra Chahal (3/55 in 10 overs) also gained in much-needed confidence going into the tournament proper.
It was a walk in the park for India, whose pacers Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled only 14 out of the 49.3 overs.
For skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri, the biggest satisfaction has to be Rahul's performance at No 4. His technique was perfect and the risk-free attacking batting as per Shastri's lingo was "just what the doctor ordered".
And what could make Rahul's case even stronger is the fact that Vijay Shankar had a forgettable game (2 off 7 balls and 0/46 in 6 overs) in both departments.
11:31 PM IST: A run out to finish the run chase for Bangladesh. Everybody wanted to go 'home', and the third umpire has it. Mehidy Hasan ran out, good throw from Yuzvendra Chahal to Dinesh Karthik. Bangladesh-264 all in 49.3 overs. India won by 95 runs.
11:27 PM IST: Yuzvendra Chahal gets his third wicket. He had Saifuddin (18 off 25) caught by Kuldeep Yadav. FoW-262/9 (48.4 overs). Rubel Hossain is the new man. Two runs from the over to end his spell. Chahal's figures: 3/55. Bangladesh need 98 runs in 6 balls. Ravindra Jadeja to bowl the last over of the warm-up fixtures. At Bristol, West Indies have defeated New Zealand by 91 runs.
11:22 PM IST: Sloppy from India. First a wasted LBW review for a delivery which was pitched outside leg, then five overthrows as KL Rahul failed to stop a throw. Vijay Shankar leaked 46 from his six overs. BAN-260/8 after 48 overs.
11:17 PM IST: Mehidy Hasan hits Yuzvendra Chahal for a six, off the last ball of the 47th, to bring up 250 for Bangladesh. They need 110 from 18 balls.
11:06 PM IST: Kuldeep Yadav finishes off his spell with a single off the last over. His figures: 3/47. BAN-228/8 after 44 overs. They need 132 runs from 36 balls.
10:57 PM IST: Ravindra Jadeja gets his first wicket. Cleans up Sabbir Rahman (seven off 12). Mehidy Hasan is the new man. BAN-218/8 after 41 overs. They need 142 runs from 54 balls. Jadeja's figures: 1/39.
Yuzvendra Chahal, right, dances to celebrate the dismissal of Bangladesh's Mosaddek Hossain by Indian teammate Kuldeep Yadav, third right, during the ICC Cricket World Cup warm-up match at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, Wales on May 28, 2019. AP Photo
10:53 PM IST: Third back-to-back wickets for India in the match. Kuldeep Yadav cleans up Mushfiqur Rahim (90 off 94), then sends Mosaddek Hossain for a duck, stumped by Dinesh Karthik. Mohammad Saifuddin joins Sabbir Rahman in the middle, and Yadav fails to get a hat-trick. BAN-216/7 after 40 overs. They need 144 runs.
10:48 PM IST: Dinesh Karthik takes over the wicket-keeping duties from MS Dhoni. Mushfiqur Rahim hits Ravindra Jadeja for a four off the first ball of 39th over. A couple, then a six. Slog sweep. 14 runs from the over. Jadeja's figures so far: 7-0-37-0. BAN-215/5. They need 145 runs from 66 balls. Rahim is unbeaten on 90 off 93.
10:35 PM IST: Mahmudullah (9 off 12) hits Kuldeep Yadav for a four, then gets bowled. Kuldeep Yadav euphoric. FoW-191/5 (35.4 overs). Sabbir Rahman is the new man.
10:33 PM IST: After a long time, Kedar Jhadav takes the field. Ravindra Jadeja completes five overs for 19 runs. BAN-185/4 after35 overs. They need 175 runs from 15 overs.
10:22 PM IST: Another back-to-back wickets for India. Yuzvendra Chahal gets the wickets of Liton Das (73 off 90), stumped and Mohammad Mithun (0 off 1), LBW off successful deliveries. Chahal on a hat-trick, but Mahmudullah blocked it. BAN-169/4 after 32 overs. They need 191 runs.
10:06 PM IST: Fifty for Mushfiqur Rahim with a single off the last ball of 28th over. He takes 58 balls. His stand with Liton Das (71 off 85) is now worth 110 in 115 balls. BAN-159/2 after 29 overs. They need 201 runs from 21 overs. For India, Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja are operating.
9:55 PM IST: Vijay Shankar and Yuzvendra Chahal bowling in tandem, without success. Liton Das hit Chahal for two fours in the 24th over, then Mushfiqur Rahim hit Shankar for a four and a four in the next over. Das is batting on 55 off 68, while Rahim is on 48 off 53. They have added 90 runs for the third wicket in 91 balls. BAN-139/2 after 25 overs. They need 221 runs.
9:31 PM IST: Vijay Shankar concedes six runs from his first over, after being hit for a four off the first delivery by Mushfiqur Rahim. BAN-91/2 after 19 overs. Rahim unbeaten on 25 off 36, while Liton Das is on 36 off 49. They need 269 more runs.
MS Dhoni comes into keep the wicket after 15 overs.
9:09 PM IST: Kuldeep Yadav completed his second over. 12 runs from his two overs so far, with seven coming from the second. BAN-69/2 after 14 overs. Liton Das on 27 off 40 while Mushfiqur Rahim on 13 off 15. They need 291 runs.
8:53 PM IST: Mushfiqur Rahim joins Liton Das in the centre. And he survives. BAN-49/2 after ten overs. They need 311 runs.
Jasprit Bumrah, center, celebrates the dismissal of Shakib Al Hasan, right. AP Photo
8:51 PM IST: Jasprit Bumrah provides the breakthrough. He had Soumya Sarkar caught behind. FoW-49/1 (9.4 overs). Sarkar made 25 off 29. Shakib Al Hasan is the new man. And he's bowled. Two in two for Bumrah.
8:12 PM IST: Strong start from Bangladesh openers Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar. Mohammed Shami started the proceedings with a 12-run first over, with Sarkar hitting a four and a six off the last two balls. Jasprit Bumrah conceded four runs -- two singles and a double -- from his first over. BAN-16/0 after two overs.
MS Dhoni is not keeping the wicket. Dinesh Karthik will keep for the second match in succession.
8:42 PM IST: Very strong start from Bangladesh. Soumya Sarkar and Liton Das post 47 runs in 49 balls. They need 313 runs from 41 overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar gets his first over.
7:30 PM IST: Ravindra Jadeja hits 11 off four. India set a 360-run target for Bangladesh.
7:29 PM IST: MS Dhoni going for wild swing, twice, against Shakib Al Hasan. The Bangladesh all-rounder hits the target on the second occasion. FoW-348/7 (49.2 overs). Dhoni made 113 off 78 (4sx8, 6sx7). Ravindra Jadeja is the new man.
7:23 PM IST: Elsewhere, West Indies have set New Zealand a target of 422. Hundred for Shai Hope (101 off 86) and fifties for Evin Lewis (50 off 54) and that man Andre Russell (54 off 25).
7:21 PM IST: A six to reach the hundred. A wide to start the penultimate over, then a straight six. 105 off 73 for Dhoni. Abu Jayed is the bowler. IND-334/6 (48.1 overs).
7:18 PM IST: What an over. Five wides, then a six and a four as Hardik Pandya punishes Shakib Al Hasan with some lusty hittings. Another wide, down the leg. Another wide. Pandya (21 off 11) holed out at long-on, caught by Sabbir Rahman. FoW-325/6 (47.3 overs). Dinesh Karthik is the new man, and he survived a LBW review with ball pitching outside leg. And Dhoni remained on 99. IND-327/6 after 48 overs.
MS Dhoni bats during warm-up match against Bangladesh. AP Photo
7:10 PM IST: MS Dhoni into the nineties, with a six off the second ball of the 47th over. Over mid-off boundary. Five sixes and eight fours for him. 99 off 72. IND-308/5.
6:55 PM IST: KL Rahul falls to Sabbir Rahman in the 44th over. Dragged on. FoW-266/5 (43.2 over). He made 108 off 99 with the help of 12 fours and four sixes. Hardik Pandya is the new man.
KL Rahul scores a fluent century. AP Photo
6:47 PM IST: 100 with a gentle nudge to cover, off the last ball of 42nd over, for KL Rahul. He seals the number four spot in the Indian line-up. He takes 94 balls. IND-255/5. Rahul and MS Dhoni have added 153 in 121 balls.
6:27 PM IST: Fifty for MS Dhoni in 40 balls with a four off the first ball of the 37th over. He follows it up with a six, and the ball disappeared. He is ready for the tournament, and Virat Kohli should consider Dhoni retiring. 14 runs from Mosaddek Hossain's third over. KL Rahul is unbeaten on 81 off 76. IND-228/4 after 40 overs. Rahul and Dhoni added 127 runs in 92 balls.
5:59 PM IST: Big over for India as KL Rahul hit Shakib Al Hasan for two fours and a six in the 31st over. IND-165/4. Rahul is on 66 off 60 while MS Dhoni is on 15 off 22.
5:42 PM IST: Fifty for KL Rahul with a double off the last ball of the 26th over. He takes 45 balls to reach the mini-milestone. IND-135/4. MS Dhoni is unbeaten on five off seven.
5:37 PM IST: KL Rahul welcomes Shakib AL Hasan with a six, over deep mid-wicket. Seven runs from the over, and 36 from the last five. Rahul is unbeaten on 41 off 39. IND-124/4 after 25 overs.
5:22 PM IST: Vijay Shankar departs. Fails to mark a mark in his only warm-up game. He takes on the rising ball from Rubel Hossain, and ends up offering an easy catch to Bangladesh wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim. FoW-102/4 (21.6 over). Shankar made two off seven. MS Dhoni is the new man for India.
5:06 PM IST: Virat Kohli fails to pick Mohammad Saifuddin slower yorker. Off-stump gone. FoW-83/3 (18.4 overs). Kohli made 47 off 46. Vijay Shankar is the new man.
4:45 PM IST: Drinks in Cardiff. Virat Kohli raced to 41 off 38 balls. KL Rahul on seven off 13. IND-75/2. Kohli hit two fours in the 16th over, off the third and sixth balls. Rubel Hossain leaked 11 in that over.
3:38 PM IST: Bowling change works for Bangladesh. Rohit Sharma drags back onto the stumps. Gone. Quicker and short from Rubel Hussain. FoW-50/2 (13.3 overs). Rohit made 19 off 42. KL Rahul is the new man.
4:22 PM IST: Power-play over. Five overs each for Mustafizur Rahman and Mashrafe Mortaza. India 34/1 after ten overs. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli unbeaten on 15 off 30 and 16 off 21 respectively. Mohammad Saifuddin, right-arm fast medium, gets his first over.
4:08 PM IST: Meanwhile, at Bristol, New Zealand got the breakthrough with Trent Boult removing Chris Gayle. FoW-1/59 (7.2 over). Gayle made 36 off 22.
4:04 PM IST: Bangladesh continue to operate with Mustafizur Rahman and skipper Mashrafe Mortaza. Three overs each, for 1/12 and 0/3 respectively. Both the Indian batsmen survived some anxious moments with the ball doing the talking. IND-17/1 after six overs.
3:52 PM IST: Mustafizur strikes. India lose their first. Shikhar Dhawa pays the price for playing across. LBW. FoW-5/1 (2.5 over). Dhawan made one off nine. Virat Kohli is the new man.
3:43 PM IST: Play resumed. No overs lost. For dot balls to Rohit Sharma as Mustafizur Rahman kept the Indian opener quiet. IND-4/0.
Groundsmen pull on the covers after rain stopped play warm-up match between Bangladesh and India. AP Photo
3:21 PM: Side covers are on. Seems like, it will be the feature of the day.
3:14 PM IST: After two balls, rain comes back again.
3:08 PM IST: Rohit Sharma played a sublime shot through cover off the first ball, and get off the mark with a three. Shikhar Dhawan follows it up with a single, then the rain arrived. Mustafizur Rahman conceded four runs from two runs.
3:02 PM IST: Match start delayed due to wet outfield.
2:38 PM IST: Bangladesh field all 15 members.
Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim(w), Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza(c), Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Abu Jayed
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Lokesh Rahul, Vijay Shankar, Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal
2:32 PM IST: Bangladesh have won the toss and have opted to field
1:56 PM IST: Kohli is bound to be a worried man. Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar still remain uncertainties. Shankar was however seen getting some hits before the match though. Now, India's primary objective is to fix their middle-order problems.
1:45 PM IST: Here's a glimpse of India captain Virat Kohli, warming up
Virat Kohli having a net ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ pic.twitter.com/vRavinlFpJ— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) May 28, 2019
India are the favourites and have bigger worries too. Their loss to New Zealand in the first warm-up match exposed the ugly middle-order underbelly despite the promotion of KL Rahul to bat in THAT number four position. He failed, so thus other top-order batsmen including skipper Virat Kohli and the famed opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan.
Hardik Pandya, also promoted to number five, ahead of MS Dhoni, had a few cracks but he was far from ideal to be a middle-order fix. Dinesh Karthik also got a chance but threw away his wicket. Swordsman Ravindra Jadeja scored a fifty to salvage India's score.
But 179 all out? That's worrying.
Under a slightly favourable condition, the Kiwi quicks showed how dangerous they can be and how vulnerable the Indian batting line-up is. The absence of Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar, through injuries, made matters more complicated for India.
India (From): Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Lokesh Rahul, Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni(w), Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal
Bangladesh (From): Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim(w), Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mashrafe Mortaza(c), Mehidy Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Mohammad Mithun, Abu Jayed, Mosaddek Hossain