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Liton’s majestic knock nearly did it for Bangladesh

  • Samsul Arefin Khan From Adelaide
  • 3 November, 2022 12:00 AM
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Bangladesh required a huge mountain to climb when they were set for a target of 185 runs by India during their fourth Group 2 Super 12 match of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday.

The Tigers had a new opening pair – Liton Das and Najmul Hossain Shanto – to start the run chase after Soumya Sarkar was dropped for the match and the onus was on the right-hand, left-hand due to give Bangladesh a rollicking start in the massive run chase.

Liton, who had previous experience of delivering against India in the big stage as he struck a brilliant hundred against the same opposition during 2018 Asia Cup final in UAE, then took the opposition by surprise by smashing his quickest T20I fifty that gave Bangladesh a chance to stage an upset in the game.

Liton started his innings with three classic boundaries against pacer Arshdeep Singh while he smashed another pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar for two fours and a six in the next over to take Bangladesh to 30-0 in three overs.

The 28-year-old batsman then smashed Mohammad Shami for two fours and a six in the last over of the powerplay and completed his eighth T20I fifty off just 21 balls and after the end of the six overs, Bangladesh found them in a favourite position against India courtesy of Liton’s splendid knock in the crucial contest.

Rain then made a massive interruption in the game when Bangladesh were 66-0 after the end of their seventh over and when the match restarted again after a 51-minute break, Bangladesh were given a revised target of 151 runs in 16 overs.

Bangladesh needed to score 85 runs off nine overs with all 10 wickets in their hands and it could be an easy job if not they lost Liton in the second ball after the resumption of the match through run-out.

Liton scored 60 off 27 balls with seven fours and three sixes in the 68-run opening stand with Najmul, who could make only 21 off 25 balls before his getting dismissed, but later on others couldn’t capitalize on the start as Bangladesh had to finish the match with a five-run heartbreak.

“The way Liton was batting, his run-out at that time was very crucial,” Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan said during the post-match press conference in Adelaide.

“We lost the momentum after the end of the rain. But it was not in our hands. We need to play taking those things into consideration,” he added.

Shakib also heaped his praises on Liton for his outstanding effort that helped Bangladesh back in the match and he felt that it wasn’t an out of the box innings from the charismatic batsman.

“He has been playing well for the last two to three years. In T20Is, he has been fantastic this year. But if you want his stats in ODIs and Tests, he had two great years,” he said.

“I think he brought that confidence in T20Is as well. He knows how to score runs. Today it was a big opportunity for him and we were counting on him because he is capable of doing something big.

“This was not an out of the box innings as we all know that he is capable of playing this type of innings,” Shakib concluded.