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India beat Bangladesh, will face Pakistan in Champions Trophy final

BIRMINGHAM: Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten century sealed India’s place in a Champions Trophy final against arch-rivals Pakistan after the title-holders thrashed Bangladesh by nine wickets at Edgbaston on Thursday.

Bangladesh’s total of 264 for seven never looked like being enough and was duly made to look inadequate by India’s powerful top-order.

Sharma and fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan (46) put on 87 before Sharma (123 not out) and India captain Virat Kohli (96 not out) completed the job with nearly 10 overs to spare.

Their unbroken partnership of 178 delighted the huge India contingent in a crowd of 24,340 — a record for a one-day international at Edgbaston.

“Hopefully our two openers can give us a solid base in the final,” Kohli told Sky Sports.

 

 

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Earlier, Bangladesh were held to a total of 264 for seven after Kohli won the toss.

Bangladesh had begun superbly through Tamim Iqbal’s 70 and Mushfiqur Rahim’s 61, but lost its way in the middle to end up well short of where it appeared to be heading at the halfway stage. It did do enough, though, to give its bowlers a reasonable chance.

Bhuvneshwar had given India the perfect start by snaring Soumya Sarkar in the first over, and then setting up Sabbir Rahman in the seventh to leave Bangladesh 31 for 2. Sabbir had begun very well, with a flurry of fours off both Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah.

India’s reply began with a welter of boundaries, Sharma square-driving Mustafizur Rahman for an elegant four.

Meanwhile left-hander Dhawan hoisted paceman Taskin Ahmed over square leg for six.

The only question now was India’s margin of victory, with Bangladesh — in their first major semi-final — avoiding a 10-wicket defeat when Dhawan sliced Mortaza to backward point.

Sharma completed his 11th ODI hundred when he hooked Mustafizur for his first six in 111 balls also including 12 fours.

Kohli then finished the match in emphatic fashion, cover-driving Sabbir for four.

 

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