India survived a mighty scare before pulling off an incredible 1-run victory over Bangladesh in a nerve-wracking low-scoring thriller to keep their semi-final hopes alive in the ICC World T20 on Wednesday night.

Defending a modest 146, India looked down and out for the better part of the match before pulling their acts together in the final two overs to restrict Bangladesh to 145 for 9. 

b”Hardik Pandya celebrates after India’s last-ball win. AFP”

It was a piece of inspirational captaincy by MS Dhoni, who took his right glove off when Hardik Pandya came in to bowl the last delivery with two runs required. Pandya bowled a fuller delivery wide off Shuvagato Hom who missed it and Dhoni caught it.

As Mustafizur started sprinting from the other end, the 34 plus Indian skipper beat his younger opponent in a short sprint to whip off the bails to lead to an unbelievable finish as the entire Chinnaswamy Stadium erupted in joy.

It was a perfect Holi gift for the fans by the Indian team, who now have four points and are up in the second position in the table with a match left.

Credit should also be given to Jasprit Bumrah, who bowled six magnificent deliveries in the penultimate over when Bangladesh needed only 17 off 12 balls.

When Hardik Pandya (2/29) was handed the ball, pacers Ashish Nehra, Bumrah, and spinners Ravindra Jadeja (2/22) and Ravichandran Ashwin (2/20 in 4 overs) had already finished their quota and Dhoni was hard pressed to choose his options . 

b”Mortaza’s Bangladesh should have won it comfortably. AFP”

The dangerous Mahmudullah got one off Pandya’s first delivery and Mushfiqur Rahim smacked the next through covers for a boundary bring the equation down to 6 from four balls.

To everyone’s horror Rahim then played half scoop off the next ball on the pads which was just out of Dhoni’s reach as equation became 2 off 3 balls. Off the next ball, Rahim mistimed a pull shot to get out as it became 2 off 2 balls.

With Mahmudullah on strike, he mistimed a pull off another full toss which was pouched brilliantly by Jadeja.

With 1 needed for tie and 2 to win, it was the inspirational Dhoni, who brought smiles with his daredevilry and innovative thinking.

Feature image source: AFP