India won the opening World Cup Match against Bangladesh by 87 runs thanks to a four wicket haul from Munaf Patel. Hosts Bangladesh needing 371 for a win went down fighting as they posted an impressive 283 for 9. Opener Tamim Iqbal top scored with 70 from 86 balls with 3 fours and a six. Skipper Shakib Al Hasan came up with a 50 ball 55. However, none of the Bangladeshi batsmen could kick on and score the much needed big hundred to keep their team in the hunt.
For India, Munaf Patel literally provided them with relief every time the Bangladeshis were pounding the bowling under the lights. Munaf ended his bowling with figures of 10-0-48-4 while Zaheer Khan gave away only 40 runs in his 10 overs besides taking two wickets. Harbhajan Singh also played a crucial role giving away only 41 runs in his 10 overs while taking one wicket.
Virender Sehwag was the Man of the Match for his stupendous knock of 175.
Virender Sehwag tragically missed out on becoming the second batsman to register a double century in ODI history but helped India to put up an intimidating 370 for 4 on the board in the opening World Cup Match against Bangladesh. The dashing batsman lasted 47.3 overs to plunder 175 from 140 balls with the help of 14 fours and 5 sixes before dragging a tired shot onto his stumps to get bowled. Virat Kohli also made best of his opportunity against the weak Bangladeshi attack to notch up his 5th ODI hundred. He remained unbeaten on 100 from 83 balls with 8 fours and 2 sixes while the other top order batsmen got off to starts but failed to convert them into bigger scores.
The pitch played very slow and low and it was not an easy job for the batsmen to play their shots freely. However the Bangladeshi bowlers were put under tremendous pressure by Sehwag and they could only dish out bad balls on a regular basis to get smashed left and right.
Toss and Teams
Hosts Bangladesh have won the toss and elected to field first in the opening match of the ICC World Cup 2011 at Mirpur, Dhaka. The Bangladeshi Skipper Shakib Al Hasan is hoping to restrict India to less than 260. MS Dhoni who lost the toss thinks that the dew could prove to be a big factor. His side faces the difficult task of bowling with a possibly wet ball during the second half. The pitch at the Shere Bangla National Stadium is expected to be on the slower side with not much of bounce.
India have gone in with three quicks and the lone spinner in Harbhajan Singh. Ashish Nehra misses out from the team with a sore back to give way to Sreesanth. Suresh Raina has been made to sit out with three other players. The Bangladeshi line up is missing the experienced Mohammad Ashraful.
- BV Swagath