India set up Champions Trophy Final clash with Pakistan as Rohit Sharma sweeps Bangladesh aside
Rohit Sharma scored a century as India swept aside Bangladesh to set up one of the biggest matches in sport.
This nine-wicket victory means India will meet Pakistan in Sunday’s Champions Trophy Final at The Kia Oval. The rivalry between the teams is ferocious, and is likely to draw a huge television audience as India attempt to retain their crown.
When India beat Pakistan here in the group stage, an estimated one billion around the world switched on – meaning nearly one in seven people watched it at some point. With a major title at stake, the pressure is considerably higher this time; the viewing figures might even go up, too.
India have had the upper hand on Pakistan in limited-overs cricket recently and are favourites. As it has been throughout the tournament, India’s batting was imperious in the semi-final.
Set a target of 265, Rohit and his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan treated the Bangladesh attack with the disdain they would usually show net bowlers. Rohit finished 123 not out, with captain Virat Kohli unbeaten on 96 and passing 8,000 ODI runs in the process.
Dhawan is another who loves this tournament. He was the leading run-scorer as India won it in 2013, making 363 runs, and he is on target to repeat that. Dhawan made 46 here, taking his aggregate for the competition to 317 – only 13 ahead of Rohit.
Dhawan would surely have made many more had he not tried to reach his 50 by trying to wallop Mashrafe Mortaza inside-out over extra-cover for four. It was an extravagant shot, which ended in the hands of Mahmudullah backward point.
There was no chance, however, that India would be punished for Dhawan’s flash of arrogance. Not when Kohli was next in.
Kohli was determined to enjoy himself against such limited bowling. This is one of the world’s best batsmen and it showed, as he played decisively all around the wicket. One shot stood out: the drive on the up off Mustafizur Rahman, which scurried past mid-off for four.
The shot that took Rohit to his hundred was similarly memorable, though far less elegant. Mustafizur pitched short, Rohit hooked, Mosaddek Hossain could not make up the ground from long leg and the ball thudded into the boundary as Mosaddek tumbled over. Eventually, the umpires signalled six. Rohit raised his arms to his team-mates, and then the Indian supporters, who continued to serenade him.
India won it with 59 balls to spare – just as emphatically as Pakistan beat England in Cardiff yesterday/on Wednesday. Bangladesh did well to reach the last four and are improving, but they are no match for Kohli’s band.
Only when Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim were batting together were Bangladesh in the game. The pair added 123 in 21.1 overs for the third wicket and, for once, India looked jittery – but it did not last.
Tamim was bowled for 70 attempting a slog sweep at Kedar Jadhav’s part-time off-spin. Thereafter, India’s slow bowlers squeezed their opponents, with Ravi Jadeja practically sprinting back to his mark between deliveries. Jadeja removed Shakib Al Hasan for 15, before Mushfiqur dragged a full toss from Jadhav to Kohli at midwicket and was out for 61.
Mortaza, the captain, made an unbeaten 30 to push Bangladesh to 264 for seven but it felt too few. In fact, against these batsmen, on this pitch, 520 would have felt too few. As well as Pakistan bowled against England, it will take a mighty effort to tear the Champions Trophy from India’s hands.
Military to join armed police at London's major sporting events across the summer following Manchester bombing
The presence of soldiers in addition to armed police will ensure unprecedented levels of security as the sporting calendar hits its peak in the capital over the coming weeks.
A quarter of a million spectators are expected at Wembley Stadium this weekend for Saturday’s FA Cup Final and two promotion play-off finals, while a further 150,000 will go through the turnstiles at Twickenham for the Aviva Premiership Final and England’s fixture against the Barbarians.
In the wake of Monday’s terror attack in Manchester and the raising of the country’s security alert level to critical, armed military personnel and police firearms officers will be in attendance at major sporting events.
The Metropolitan Police said it was in constant dialogue with sporting bosses across the capital, which is set to host The Derby the weekend after next, cricket’s Champions Trophy, which gets under way at The Kia Oval tomorrow week, and the Women’s Cricket World Cup, starting on June 24.
The Metropolitan Police said: “A full review of the security and policing operations for the weekend’s sporting events — the culmination of the football and rugby seasons at Wembley and Twickenham — is under way. This will include the deployment of extra armed officers.”
The Met is expected to make a further statement on security measures later today but there is no suggestion any major sporting event in London will be cancelled or postponed at this stage.
Meanwhile, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said there would be military personnel at events in the capital “to reassure all Londoners that we are doing everything possible to protect your city”.
Wembley will host Saturday’s FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Chelsea as well as the League Two play-off between Blackpool and Exeter and the Bank Holiday Monday Championship play-off clash of Huddersfield and Reading.
The FA said there would be “an enhanced security operation for all upcoming events” and advised all ticket holders to arrive “as early as possible for security checks and to avoid delays in entering the stadium”.
Similarly, the RFU has advised fans to arrive early for Saturday’s Premiership Final and Sunday’s Barbarians match — and to avoid bringing bags where possible.
Armed police will be outside the stadium at both matches, while the RFU will continue with the additional security arrangements for bag searches and pat downs employed at all entrance points for this year’s Six Nations matches. An RFU spokesman said: “We have been operating enhanced security measures for some time and will continue to do so for both match days this weekend.”
Security at golf’s BMW PGA Championship, which began with a pro-am day at Wentworth this morning, has been given “the highest priority”, according to European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley, with the event in “constant dialogue with the police and security services”.
Meanwhile, Epsom racecourse — scheduled to host the Derby a week on Saturday — will have increased security and firearms officers in and around the venue. But Surrey Police Chief Supt Jerry Westerman stressed it was “not in response to any specific intelligence in relation to the event”.
England begin their Champions Trophy campaign against Bangladesh at The Oval a week tomorrow, and the ICC said they were continuing “to work with authorities over the coming hours and days, and review our security in line with the threat levels”.
Wimbledon and London 2017 — the Para Athletics World Championships and the IAAF World Championships — are both on the horizon for the capital.
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club said it was working closely with the Met in light of the Manchester attack to “ensure that The Championships are as secure as possible and that our plans are commensurate with the existing threat level in London and the UK”.
It added it would “take any appropriate measures to ensure the safety of the whole Championships”.
Outside of London, the Great CityGames in Manchester will go ahead on Saturday while a decision on Sunday’s Great Manchester Run, in which 30,000 people are expected to compete, had not been taken by the time Standard Sport went to press.