Chahar's Hat-Trick Hands India T20 Series Win Over Bangladesh


NAGPUR - Pacer Deepak Chahar took a sensational six-wicket haul, including a hat-trick after entertaining half-centuries from Shreyas Iyer and K L Rahul, as India defeated a self-destructing Bangladesh by 30 runs in the third and final T20 International to win the series 2-1, here on Sunday.

Pacers Deepak Chahar (6/7 in 3.2 overs), who registered the best figures in a T20 match on Sunday besides becoming the first Indian to take a hat-trick in the shortest format, and Shivam Dube (3/30) shared nine wickets amongst themselves to secure India's first T20 series win at home this season.

Heavy late evening dew rendered the spinners ineffective but Chahar and Dube rose to the occasion.

Iyer (62 off 33) and Rahul (52 off 35) had earlier smashed sublime half-centuries to propel India to 174 for five after Bangladesh opted to field. Chasing the target, the visitors were all out for 144 in 19.2 overs.

With 50 needing off the last 30 balls and six wickets in hand, Bangladesh had a great opportunity to win the series but they crumbled under pressure.

Rookier opener Mohammad Naim (81 of 48) played a blinder to take Bangladesh deep into the game before they lost five wickets for 20 runs to blow it all away.

Chasing a challenging 175, Bangladesh suffered early setbacks as Chahar had opener Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar caught off successive balls to leave the visitors at 12 for two.

Naim, playing his debut series, and Mohammad Mithun (27) shared a 98-run stand for the third wicket to bring their team back into the contest.

Left-hander Naim played some exquisite strokes especially against the spinners and welcomed Yuzvendra Chahal into the attack with three consecutive fours.

Earlier, a maiden half-century for Iyer and the sixth one for Rahul helped India put up a competitive total. Iyer's cracking knock came after he was dropped on 0.

Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah followed the template set in the series by winning the toss and opting to field.

India made an unexpected call by dropping a bowler in Krunal Pandya for middle-order batsman Manish Pandey.

The hosts were dealt a body blow in the second over when pacer Shafiul Islam removed their skipper Rohit Sharma, who had made a sublime 85 in the series-levelling win in Rajkot. Rohit tried to whip a length ball but only managed an inside edge on to the stumps.

Rahul joined Shikhar Dhawan (19 off 16)in the middle and with both the batsmen under pressure having not made an impact the first two games, the situation provided them an ideal platform to deliver.

Dhawan, who has found it tough to accelerate of late, got going with successive boundaries off Al-Amin Hussain. Rahul too began his innings in a similar fashion, going for the aerial straight drive before punching Islam through point.

However, Dhawan could not last long after hitting four boundaries, mistiming a slog to be caught in the deep by Mahmudullah.

India once again could not get to a good start batting first, struggling to 41 for two in six overs. It would have been three down at that stage if Aminul Islam had not dropped a regulation catch off incoming batsman Iyer at backward point.

Rahul and Iyer gave a much needed boost to the Indian innings with a 59-run stand.

Rahul in full flow is always a treat to the eye and that is what the Nagpur crowd witnessed. He completed his fifty off 33 balls before getting caught at mid-off two balls later, leaving India at 94 for three in the 13th over.

Iyer, who made a sedate start to his innings, went ballistic after Rahul's departure. He was especially brutal against the spinners and hit three sixes over long-on off Afif Hossain.

Iyer, who raced to his 50 off 27 balls, ended up hammering five sixes and three boundaries.

Rishabh Pant (6), who has copped a lot of criticism of late both for his batting and wicket-keeping, disappointed once again when the team needed him to provide the big hits. He struggled in his nine-ball stay and was eventually bowled after being deceived by a slower one from medium pacer Soumya Sarkar.

Pandey (22 not out off 13), playing his first game of the series, came up with welcome boundaries in the death overs to take the total beyond 170.

We have long way to go in T20 cricket: Mahmudullah

Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah feels his team still has a long way to go in Twenty20s as it is neither learning from its mistakes nor has the big-hitters essential to the format.

Bangladesh have come close to victory on many occasions but failed to cross the line, especially against top teams like India losing the just-concluded T20 series 1-2.

"We have a long way to go in T20 cricket. We don't have big hitters. We have to be dependent on our skill hitting. So we are working on our game sense and become more consistent mentally," said Mahmudullah following the 30-run loss to India in the series-decider here on Sunday.

"As a batting unit, if we can improve then we will have more chances to win," he added.

Needing 50 runs off the last 30 balls with six wickets in hand, Bangladesh were on course for a memorable series win here on Sunday but lost wickets in a heap to blow it all away.

"I am not sure whether it was composer or not. But if you see, we did similar kind of mistakes probably in few games in recent times. That's where I think big teams are quite good and very consistent in these situations and they can chase down this sort of total.

"Having said that, the wicket was very good to chase on. Our bowlers did a very good job to restrict them to 174. We just didn't finish well."

Not many expected Bangladesh to take the series right down to the wire, especially in the absence of senior players Tamim Iqbal and the suspended Shakib Al Hasan.

"If you analyse these three games, I think we played good cricket. But T20 cricket is such a format, if you lose momentum it's very hard to get it back. We were very close in this game but as we lost three-four wickets in six or seven balls and that's the crucial part of that game," said the skipper.

Mahmudullah admitted the experienced hands like him and Mushfiqur Rahim should have take the team over the line after rookie opener Mohammad Naim took the game deep with a brilliant 81 off 48 balls.

"I can't blame Mushy. He won us the game in Delhi. So you can't say he failed miserably. Yeah, if you say about today's game, yes we failed. That I agree."

He picked out the performances of opener Naim, pacer Al-Amin Hossan and spinner Aminul Islam as positives out of the India series.

"Al Amin was brilliant. I think he is one of the best T20 bowlers from our country. I personally feel that. International or domestic cricket, he is always a consistent performer.

"Naim's innings was beautiful to watch. I am feeling bad that we could not finish it. That's why I have more regret. Because he batted so well. We should have finished it for him."

Their frontline pacer Mustafizur Rahman went wicket-less in the three-match series but Mahmudullah backed him to come back stronger from this setback.

"I think every player faces such a time when in four, five or six matches, you can't perform as your team expects. We all know that he is a champion bowler and sometimes as a team we expect more from him."

"He is concerned about his form but I don't think he needs to take a break or be dropped. You have to support a champion bowler, he is our match winning bowler. When he will return to full rhythm, Bangladesh will win matches," added the captain.

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