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Ojha sees India to opening win


Pragyan Ojha is congratulated by his India team-mates as his return of 4-21 inspired his side to victory at Trent Bridge

Pragyan Ojha’s four wickets helped India get their ICC World Twenty20 defence off to a winning start against Bangladesh - so avoiding a second major shock in successive days.

After England’s astounding defeat at the hands of Holland last night, there were fleeting moments when Bangladesh hinted they too could pull off an unlikely victory.

But in the end, Twenty20 international debutant Ojha’s 4-21 ensured India’s 180 for five proved plenty - and a frenetic Bangladesh reply finished 25 runs short in this Group A opener on a cloudy night at Trent Bridge.

It was Yuvraj Singh’s whirlwind 41 which provided the India innings with much-needed late impetus, after Gautam Gambhir had found the boundary only four times in his 50.

Once Yuvraj had hit four sixes and three fours from only 18 balls, it always seemed India, who chose to bat first, had a total which would prove beyond their opponents.

Bangladesh nonetheless deserved credit for restricting most of their illustrious opposite numbers with some well-directed bowling and keen fielding.

Very little got away from the Tigers - and the only semblance of even a missed half-chance came when Raqibul Hasan, diving full stretch to his right at point from a ferocious cut by Gambhir on 13 off Shahadat Hossain, just failed to cling on.

Yuvraj Singh

India's Yuvraj Singh hits a huge six as his 41 off just 18 balls gives India some momentum

The left-handed opener shared half-century stands for the first two wickets. But with Rohit Sharma already gone, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was bowled by Naeem Islam - operating at a clever, full length.

It was therefore down to Gambhir and Yuvraj to up the tempo in the last five overs, a challenge relished by the latter, who hit Naeem for three leg-side sixes in the 17th.

Gambhir, however, was unable to press the same accelerator and instead holed out at extra-cover off Naeem.

Yuvraj eventually mistimed a catch to long-off when Shahadat returned, but he and India had done enough with the bat.

That was far from certain, however, in the early stages of Bangladesh’s response.

After a typical early blitz, Tamim Iqbal was stumped on the charge at Yusuf Pathan. But his partner Junaid Siddique, dropped on 19 off Yusuf by Ishant Sharma running back at mid-on, also survived his captain Mohammad Ashraful - caught in the off-side ring.

Junaid began with a hook for six first ball off Irfan Pathan and added two more maximums in an innings which quickly replicated Yuvraj’s 41 - from just four balls more.

Once the left-handed opener had been caught at deep midwicket, though - the second of two wickets in slow left-armer Ojha’s first over - Bangladesh never looked capable of regrouping for a significant challenge.

So it proved as wickets continued to fall too regularly, Ojha doing most of the damage and Bangladesh's reply came up short.