Sabbir's 77 takes Bangladesh to 166/8 against India
Colombo, Mar 18 (PTI) Indian pacers undid the hardwork of their spinners as Bangladesh scored a competitive 166 for eight, riding on Sabbir Rahman's 50-ball 77 in the final of the Nidahas T20 Tri-Series here tonight.
Off-spinner Washington Sundar (1/20 in 4 overs) and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (3/18 in 4 overs) were brilliant in the Powerplay but the duo of Vijay Shankar (0/48 in 4 overs) and Shardul Thakur (0/45 in 4 overs) leaked 93 runs between them on a good batting surface.
While the Washington-Chahal duo bowled 20 dot balls between them with only one boundary, Shankar and Thakur conceded 10 boundaries and four sixes.
Jaydev Unadkat (2/33) did come back well in his final over but Sabbir cleverly waited for the spinners to finish their quota as he launched a furious assault on the pacers during the back-10.
Skipper Rohit Sharma taking a gamble by introducing both spinners inside the Powerplay overs instead of using an effective part-timer like Suresh Raina when Thakur and Shankar were being hit, came as a surprise.
The last six overs of the Bangladesh innings yielded 66 runs -- mostly coming from Sabbir's blade.
The 17th over was the one when Shankar fluffed his lines with the back of the hand slower deliveries as Sabbir hit him for a six over deep mid-wicket followed by one over long-on.
Shardul, whose knuckle ball has been a hit was picked up by Sabbir in the next over for two cheeky boundaries.
Earlier, Washington, who has grown from strength to strength again stifled the batsmen in the Powerplay overs.
Bangladesh openers Tamim Iqbal (15) and Litton Das (11) started off in a whirlwind fashion but Washington forced the latter to play a slog sweep and the ball ballooned for Raina to complete a lovely catch.
The dangerous Tamim was more of a fielder's wicket as Chahal flighted one altering the length. The left-hander jumped out at the invitation and his lofted shot had elevation but couldn't clear the distance. Shardul maintained his balance beautifully at the long-on boundary rope to cling onto the catch.
Chahal got his second wicket when an out-of-form Soumya Sarkar (1) tried to slog sweep a fuller delivery from Chahal with Shikhar Dhawan taking a simple catch at square-leg.
The wiry-framed leg-spinner got his third wicket when an in-form Mushfiqur Rahim (9) tried to hit inside out but was caught smartly by Shankar covering some distance on his right.
Sabbir, however, continued to play his strokes -- some cheeky, a few streaky and some confident ones in between.
In Mahmudullah Riyadh (21), he found a steady ally and added 36 runs before a miscommunication saw the vice-captain getting run-out by Vijay Shankar.
Shankar then had a hand in getting rival captain Shakib Al Hasan run-out with a direct throw from cover region. But Sabbir's big-hitting prowess helped them post a challenging total