Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Dube star for India with personal firsts

While Shreyas Iyer scored his maiden T20I fifty, Shivam Dube picked up his first international wicket in the match against Bangladesh.

Photo: ICC/Twitter and BCCI/Hotstar

Shreyas Iyer registered his maiden T20I fifty in a knock that included five sixes while fellow Mumbaikar Shivam Dube struck with timely wickets in the series-decider against Bangladesh that led India to a thrilling win at Nagpur on Sunday.

Put in to bat first, Iyer walked to the middle in the sixth over as India wavered at 35/2 and teamed up with opener KL Rahul to stabilise the innings. He made a steady start, scoring nine runs off the first 12 balls he faced, all comprising singles as he let his partner up the gear.

"The first few balls were tough for me to get to know the wicket," Iyer reasoned. "I took a little bit of time, I said I'm going to take 10 balls to settle in, and then back myself. When you believe that you can score in the latter half, it works out well."

In the 11th over, Iyer unleashed as he hoicked Aminul Islam straight down the ground for a six and then followed it up with a four after pulling one through wide long-on, that brought up the fifty run partnership between the two.

After Rahul's departure, he allowed Rishabh Pant to get his eye in before he upped his pace. In the 14th over, Iyer hauled a Soumya Sarkar-delivery over deep mid-wicket for a maximum and in the subsequent over from Afif Hossain, smashed three successive sixes to change the momentum of the match.

"I've hit big sixes in the past, I just backed myself. I saw a part-time bowler had come in, so I decided to take him on right from the first ball and it worked," Iyer explained.

Iyer, captain of NaMo Bandra Blasters in T20 Mumbai, brought up his fifty in just 27 balls, his first in T20Is in his 11th match

He persisted to accelerate the innings, eventually perishing for a fine 62 in just 33 balls (3x4s, 5x6s) at a strike rate of 187.87. In the 13 balls he faced before he holed out to long-off, he hammered 41 runs at a strike rate of 315.38.

Timely wickets from Dube

India finished their innings at 174/5 and Bangladesh threatened to chase it down having created momentum for themselves at 110/2 late in the 13th over, needing another 75 runs in 43 balls with eight wickets in hand.

When Deepak Chahar struck at the end of the over, captain Rohit Sharma huddled up with the team for a pep talk to motivate his players to get back in the game.

It was here when Shivam Dube stepped up. Having conceded 23 runs in his first two overs, the Shivaji Park Lions player from T20 Mumbai was keen to turn things around.

Brought back into the attack in the 14th over, he struck with the first ball to send back Mushfiqur Rahim for a golden duck and picked up his first international wicket as a result. Two successive wickets and just six runs in the over meant that the pressure was now on Bangladesh.

In his next and final over, Dube turned the tide by getting the well-settled Mohammad Naim out for 81 with a straight well-directed yorker that rattled the stumps. In his next delivery, he sunk the visitors deeper after Afif Hossain chipped the ball and gave the bowler an easy catch and a hat-trick opportunity.

From 110/2, Bangladesh were now 126/6. Dube gave away just two runs in his final over and finished with figures of 3/30 from his quota of four overs.

"The first two overs didn't go well, I didn't want to concede a boundary in my third," Dube said. "Rohit bhai just asked me to back my strengths. I try and bowl the heavy ball, backed myself to do it."

The opposition eventually folded for 144, after Deepak Chahar picked up a hat-trick and six wickets in the innings, giving India a 30-run victory and the series 2-1.

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