Skipper Rohit Sharma roared back to form with a blazing 89 as India scored a competitive 176 for three against Bangladesh in the final league encounter of the Nidahas T20 Tri-Series in Colombo. After a prolonged bad patch starting from the tour of South Africa, the stand-in captain was in his element, starting cautiously before finishing with a flourish as he hit five fours and an equal number of sixes off only 61 balls.
With another senior pro Suresh Raina (47 off 30 balls) for company, Rohit added 102 runs for the second wicket in only 9.2 overs.
The two veterans of numerous IPL battles, shifted gears in the four overs between 16 to 19, in which India scored 55 runs. The final over was a bit of an anti-climax with Bangladesh's best bowler Rubel Hossain (2/27 in 4 overs) keeping things tight and giving away only four runs. (SCORECARD)
The turning point was the 18th over bowled by left-arm military medium bowler Abu Hider Rony (0/43 in 4 overs), which fetched India 21 runs.
Rony was hit for three sixes --- two by Rohit and one by Raina, which suddenly propped up India's score that was looking below par at one stage.
Of the sixes hit by the Indian skipper, the standout was a slog sweep off Mustafizur Rahaman. He also punished the slower bowlers -- off-spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz and left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam -- hitting them for a six each.
When Mustafizur (0/38 in 4 overs), while trying for the slower one, ended up bowling full tosses, Rohit opened the bat face to fetch boundaries in the arc between point and third man.
While Rohit upped the ante in the end, Raina once again played a significant role, hitting five boundaries and two sixes.
He started with a couple of boundaries off Miraz -- his signature slog sweep towards the deep mid-wicket region followed by a lofted shot over long-off. He also hit Mahmudullah over mid-wicket for a boundary while an attempted inside-out lofted shot was edged towards third-man for a boundary.
Raina missed out on a half-century as another attempted flick over deep mid-wicket off Rubel was taken by Soumya Sarkar.
India had their best start of the tournament with Shikhar Dhawan (35 off 27 balls) and Rohit adding 70 in 9.5 overs.
Dhawan hit Mustafizur for a six over long on, picking a slower delivery earlier than expected.
Dhawan was bowled by a yorker from Rubel, which uprooted the middle stump.