After the openers again fail to come good, the duo sends the Bangladesh bowlers on a leather-hunt
K.L. Rahul made a strong case for the No. 4 slot and Mahendra Singh Dhoni played some breathtaking strokes as their twin hundreds propelled India to 359 for seven against Bangladesh in the World Cup warm-up game here on Tuesday.
After another insipid show from the openers, Rahul (108, 99b, 12×4, 4×6) and Dhoni (113, 78b, 8×4, 7×6) counter-attacked a potent Bangladesh bowling line-up, which had reduced India to 102 for four in 22 overs in its final tune-up.
The two Indians added 164 before Dhoni used the platform created by Rahul to launch a brutal assault in the final overs to take the score past 350.
After Shikhar Dhawan departed early, Rohit Sharma (19) struggled for the better part of his stay, even as skipper Virat Kohli (47, 46b, 5×4) looked solid at the other end.
With a composed Dhoni dealing with the singles and the occasional boundary, Rahul was in his flowing self during his stay at the crease.
However, after the first 25 balls in which he scored 24, Dhoni changed gears, attacking young off-spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraj and Bangladesh was left ducking for cover.
Rahul started with a cut off Abu Jayed followed by an off-drive. Jayed repeatedly provided him width and he beat the off-side cordon with ease. When Shakib Al Hasan bowled short, he was dispatched over the mid-wicket fence for a maximum.
Shakib was taken to task by both Rahul and Dhoni, who got easy runs off the world’s No. 1 ranked all-rounder. Rahul hit Mustafizur for two sixes over square leg before being dismissed by part-time Sabbir Rahman in the 44th over.
Dhoni then took over and the last overs produced 91 runs with Rubel Hossain giving away 25 runs in the 45th and 47th overs.
In between, the 46th over from Sabbir fetched India 15 runs.
Dhoni’s century came with a signature shot — a six down the ground off a length delivery from Jayed.
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