Bangladesh beat India by five runs in the second ODI in Mirpur. It was their second win in a matter of days, following their narrow victory on Sunday, and was enough to win them the series.
Having won just five out of the 36 ODIs the two teams had played before the start of this tour, which represents a substantial improvement for the home team.
It was also their second successive ODI series win against India on home soil, the other one coming back in 2015.
India brought back a fit again Axar Patel for Kuldeep Sen, who had been given his debut in the 1st ODI and had done little wrong in that match. Shahbaz Ahmed was also replaced by Umran Malik.
Bangladesh, meanwhile, brought in Nasum Ahmed for Hasan Mahmud.
India suffered a big blow when their captain Rohit Sharma was injured in just the second innings of the match after Bangladesh has won the toss and opted to bat. He was fielding at second slip, and, in attempting a catch off the bowling of Shardul Thakur, injured his thumb.
He was sent for scans, but full extent of the damage is yet to be determined.
Rajat Patidar replaced him, temporarily, but Rohit was fit enough to bat at the end of the innings, and almost made a decisive contribution.
Batting first, Bangladesh made a stuttering start against the Indian pace attack and, at 69/6 were struggling.
However, their innings was transformed when Mahmudullah and Mehedi Hasan came together. Mehedi had been the Bangladesh hero in the first match with his unbeaten stand for the last wicket carrying his side to an unlikely hero.
His innings was equally important this time, as he and Mahmudullah put on 148 for the seventh wicket. When Mahmudullah was dismissed for 77, Mehedi found support from Nasum Ahmed, and the pair added 54 more, enabling Bangladesh to post a total of 271/7.
Mehedi also reached his century, scored off 83 balls, and featuring 4 sixes and 8 fours.
Washington Sundar was the best of the Indian bowlers with 3 – 37.
The injury to Rohit disturbed the Indian plans and forced them to shuffle their barring order, with Virat Kohli opening alongside Shikhar Dhawan.
Neither lasted long, however, and like Bangladesh, India needed a big stand to stabilise their innings, Shreyas Iyer and Axar Patel sharing a fifth wicket partnership of 107.
When both fell in quick succession – Iyer for 82 and Patel for 56 – India’s hopes appeared to be over.
But, at the fall of the eight wicket, Sharma made a belated appearance, and made a brave attempt to win the match by himself for his side. He made an unbeaten 51 off just 28 balls, including 5 sixes and 3 fours, and India came within touching distance of victory.
Bangladesh, though, had won by five runs in the end.
Ebadot Hossain was the most successful of their bowlers, finishing with figures of 3 – 45.
Continuing top order concerns
Whilst the loss of Sharma caused disruption, the lack of runs from India’s top order remains a major concern, and the place of Shikhar Dhawan in the side must now be under serious threat. Given the injuries in the squad he will probably get another chance in the third ODI, but with the World Cup on the horizon, India should be exploring other options
Suryakumar Yadav has been rested for this tour, and his absence is proving a big miss, especially his ability to score runs quickly, and provide a platform for those that follow.
Mehedi the star
This has arguably been the best few days of Mehedi Hasan’s cricketing career, with two inspired innings. India have yet to get him out in this series, so they need to devise a plan to deal with his threat for the third ODI.
The thirds ODI takes place in Chittagong on Saturday, December 10th. With the series already lost, India will be looking for a consolation win at least. But it seems they must do without Rohit for that game. Despite his heroics in Mirpur, it is not worth risking him in what amounts to a dead rubber with the test series to come.
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