Not for the first time in this tournament, Virat Kohli’s class was on display as the Indian supremo hit another unbeaten half-century to lead his nation to a crucial World Cup group match win.
In the end his 64 not out off 44 deliveries was the difference, as India, who earlier smashed 6-184, won by five runs via the Duckworth Lewis System with Bangladesh 6-145 from the rain reduced 16 overs.
But India – and Kohli – could well count themselves a tad fortunate for an early incident in the seventh over of Bangladesh’s run-chase.
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Opener Litos Das, who has been in dashing form this year, was flying on 56 from 24 when he gave himself room and cut to the sweeper boundary from Axar Patel’s second delivery.
Commentator Harsha Bhogle said he “doesn’t know what danger is as they’re coming back for two” when Kohli, standing inside the ring, turned and delivered a fake throw to the non-striker’s end as the Tigers openers scampered back to complete their second run with the ball sent back to the wicket-keeper.
The fake throw went largely unnoticed, but the ICC introduced under law 41.5, ”deliberate distraction, deception or obstruction of a batsman”, Kohli should have been penalised five runs – the margin of defeat for Bangladesh.
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Tigers star Nurul Hasan was one of the many who pointed out that the incident went unnoticed.
“You saw that we had to play in a wet outfield, but there was also a case of fake fielding which also didn’t go our way,” he told the press after the game.
The incident wasn’t the only controversial one between the rivals.
Earlier, Kohli successfully attempted to sway umpire Marais Erasmus into awarding India a free hit after Hasan bowled a short ball that was later deemed a no ball for being above the head.
Kohli, who was on 45 at the time, managed to hook the ball and pick up a single but as he completed the shot and ran down the wicket he remonstrated with his arms out.
Bhogle called the score at the end of the over before noticing that Erasmus had put out his arm, saying “Oh dear”.
Shakib Al Hasan appeared bemused by the call as he and Kohli came together in a friendly manner, as the Bangladesh captain put his arm around his rival and laughed at the call.
“A no-ball has been given,” Bhogle said.
“Marais Erasmus has indicated that the no-ball is for height. I think there’s been some disagreement. Shakib and Virat Kohli moving around for a long time, tried to laugh it off.
Now Virat Kohli has said that was high and I think that is what Shakib did not like.”
In the end the free hit did not come back to bite Bangladesh hard, with Dinesh Karthik managing to score just a single from the full toss.
But the extra two runs also hurt the Tigers’ chances during their run-chase.