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“Semi-finals here we come” – says Team India

With the win over Bangladesh, India are now the second team (Australia being the first) to book their semi-final spot in the World Cup. Fortunes were in India’s favour right from the start, as Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to bat first.

Rohit Sharma along with his partner KL Rahul gave India a solid start. The duo put up a 180-run partnership for the first wicket, giving the Men in Blue a solid start. Rohit Sharma scored a scintillating hundred, his fourth in the tournament so far, before getting out in the 30th over. KL Rahul was the next one to depart, after scoring 77 runs off 92 deliveries. The stage was all set for Kohli and the middle-order to fire and set up a big total. On the pitch, that was behaving that way, anything close to 350 was pretty safe.

But, what turned out to be another unsatisfactory performance of the Indian middle order, India only managed to get through to 314 runs, which was still very defendable. The only positive in the middle-order was the intent that Rishabh Pant showed in his knock of 48 runs off 41 deliveries.

For the Bangladeshis, things weren’t pretty at the start. They had lost their veteran opener Tamim Iqbal in the 10th over and were able to score only 74 runs before Soumya Sarkar fell after scoring 33 runs off 38 deliveries. Shakib came in next and tried his best to see his side through. He tried to gain momentum, but the regular loss of wickets, including that of Mushfiqur Rahim, meant that he could not stay for long without going for the big shots. And in the 34th over, he fell to Hardik Pandya’s slower delivery, slimming the chances of Bangladesh’s victory even further.

What followed was a show of grit by the Bangladeshi middle order, as the likes of Mohammad Saifuddin tried their best to the team across the line. But a couple of fifties were not going to be enough to chase a 300+ score and the match ended in the 48th over, with Bumrah taking Mustafizur’s stumps off the ground.

For the umpteenth time, Rohit Sharma is the star of the match. His good run of form continued with a 92-ball 104. With this century, he became the first Indian to score four hundreds in a World Cup, and also the second batsman in the World. He is also just one hundred away from equaling Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 6 World Cup tons.

With this win, India qualified for the semi-finals.

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