Ahmedabad:A sensible unbeaten half-century by Shahriar Nafees helped ICL Bangladesh beat ICL India convincingly by nine wickets in a crucial league match of the T20 ICL World Series at the Sardar Patel Stadium on Tuesday.
Nafees, demoted to one down in the batting order, mixed caution with agression to see his side through with three balls to spare and register his side's first victory in the tournament after India posted a, not huge but competitive, score of 164 for eight in their alloted 20 overs.
With Bangladesh' s victory, the tournament has opened up with both India, who seemed to have taken the game lightly after their last night's victory against mighty ICL Pakistan, Bangladesh and World registering one win each.
Bangladesh, however, started their run chase on a disastrous note when Rajamani Jesuraj picked up Nazimuddin (2) in the fourth ball of the opening over with the score reading two.
The Bangladeshi opener heaved at a good length delivery outside off stump, only to get the outside edge and Ali Murtaza at third man, did the rest.
Nafees, who hit four sixes and equal number of fours in his unbeaten 70 off 53 balls, was at the business from the word go. He took a sensible approach, dealing in singles and occasional big hits and later opened up at the crucial juncture.
He was also helped by Aftab Ahmed's (26 of 18) improvised batting. Ahmed struck Jesuraj for two cheeky two-back-to back boundaries over short fine-leg in the fifth over.
However, some out-of-the-box thinking by India skipper Rajagopal Satish saw the end of the 52-run first wicket partnership between Ahmed and Nafees.
Satish replaced Reddy with Ali Murtaza in the eighth over after the latter gave only two runs in his opening over and Reddy reposed his captain's faith and struck gold, castling Ahmed's stumps.
But it wasn't enough for India as after the downfall of Ahmed, came in another danger-man in the form of Alok Kapali. Kapali, who made the first-ever century of the ICL last month, made up for his poor show against World XI, hitting two fours and four sixes in his 23-ball 44 run innings.
The duo of Kapali and Nafees were in a murderous mood, but Reddy once again came to India's rescue, getting the vital wicket of Kapali. He was ably supported by a well judge catch by Jesuraj in the mid-wicket boundary.
India's misery with poor fielding continued for the second day on the trot. After four drop catches last night, Ambati Rayudu squandered the all important catch of man-of-the-match Nafees with Bangladesh needing 15 off 11 balls.
The last nail in India's coffin was dug when Nafees hit Murtaza for a four and a six in the last over and then finished up the run chase with a single.
Jesuraj and Reddy were the best Indian bowler on display, picking up two each for 25 and 32 runs respectively in their four-over spell.
Earlier, a late blitzkrieg by skipper Satish saved the day for ICL India. Satish, who arrived at the crease at the score of 107 for five in 14.6 overs, struck Bangladeshi bowlers to all parts of the ground in his quick-fire 44 off 20 balls. He hit as many as four sixes and two boundaries in his 33-minute stay.
Pacers, Farhad Reza and exprienced Tapas Baisya, backed by some nit work in the field, started the proceedings well for Bangladesh, which resulted in India's slow start.
Desperate to up the tempo Ganapathi Vignesh (9) was the first to depart when he slashed hard at a short Baisya delivery, only to find Golam Mabud at the third-man boundary. A 43-run first wicket stand between Ibrahim Khaleel (27 off 22 balls) and in-form Rayadu stabilised the Indian innings.
Khaleel struck Baisya for two back-to back boundaries, first over mid-on and then through mid-wicket to score 13 runs in the sixth over.
First change Mohammad Raqfique too fell a victim to Khaleel's agression as the wicket-keeper hit the left-arm spinner over mid-off to register the first six of Indian innings. However, Khaleel's over agression did him as in the very next over he was caught inside the circle by Reza off the bowling of Kapali.
Rayudu (22 off 22) started from where he left against Pakistan XI but could not sustain long as he was caught by Mabud in the first ball of left-arm spinner Mosharraf Hussain's spell.
Stuart Binny (27 off 17) was undone by a brilliant diving catch by Mabud off Hossain. Left-arm spinner Hossain was the pick of Bangladesh bowlers, picking up three wickets for 48 runs. He was ably supported by Baishya, who scalped two for 34.