nidahas semis

India’s star shuttler Saina Nehwal. (IANS photo)

COLOMBO — Skipper Rohit Sharma (89) led from the front and helped India post 176/3 against Bangladesh in the fifth match of the Nidahas Trophy T20 cricket tournament at the R. Premadasa Stadium here March 14.

India could once again meet Bangladesh or Sri Lanka in the March 18 final match of the tri-nation competition.

Indian openers Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan (35) clicked at the right time and gave the crucial start when needed the most. Skipper Rohit, who was out of form for quite a long time, returned to form and slammed his 13th fifty (off 42 balls). Suresh Raina (47) also contributed handsomely to the cause.

On the other hand, Bangladesh bowlers struggled right from the start. The fielders failed to restrict the Indian batsmen, thanks to some sloppy work on the outfield.

Put in to bat, India started off on a perfect note as the openers forged a 70-run partnership before Dhawan was clean bowled by Rubel Hossain. His 27-ball knock was laced with five boundaries and one six.

Experienced left-arm batsman Raina then joined Rohit and the duo played sensibly. In the process, Rohit completed his half-century and helped India to cross 100-run mark in 14th over.

Raina also played as expected from him. The Uttar Pradesh batsman dispatched the bad balls perfectly while rotating the strike.

The last four overs saw some brilliant hammering from the duo. But in the last over, Raina, who was three short of his 50 at that point, was caught by Soumya Sarkar off Hossain. His 30-ball knock comprised of five boundaries and two sixes.

The last ball of the inning saw Rohit, who played 61 balls, getting run out while going for a run and thus India posted 176 runs in their allotted 20 overs. Dinesh Karthik (2) remained unbeaten at the other end.

For Sri Lanka, Hossain picked up two wickets.

Brief scores:

India: 176/3 (Rohit Sharma 89, Suresh Raina 47; Rubel Hossain 2/27) against Bangladesh.

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