Wed, 01 February 2023
The Daily Ittefaq

Tigers raise a prospect of stunning victory against India

Update : 24 Dec 2022, 18:53

Bangladesh spinners caught India in spin-web to raise a prospect of a stunning victory in the second Test as they reduced the mighty sub-continent to 45-4 on day three, in the chase of a 145-run target at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Saturday.

India needed further 100 runs to sweep the two-match Test series, with Axar Patel batting on 26 on tricky surface where the spinners get turn and bounce aplenty and nightwatchman Jaydev Unadkat on 3. The visitors won the first Test in Chattogram by 188 runs, reports BSS.

After setting 145-run target, Bangladesh spinners led by Mehidy Hasan Miraz ripped through the Indian top order in a gem of spin bowling. Mehidy ended the day with 3-12 while captain Shakib Al Hasan got the rest of the wicket. Another spinner Taijul Islam though didn’t take any wicket but played a perfect foil to Mehidy and Shakib by bowling incredibly well.

All of the Indian top four batters were out with single digit figures after Shakib made the breakthrough dismissing his opposite number KL Rahul for 2.

Mehidy then got into action, claiming the wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara via stumping on 6. The offspinner also had Shubman Gil stumped by Nurul Hasan for 7 and then got the big wicket of Virat Kohli (1) who gave the catch at short leg after trying to defend a turning delivery.

Axar, who came to bat ahead of Kohli in No.4 position, held his nerve in the tricky period and hit four boundaries to keep India’s hope alive.

Earlier, Liton Das was instrumental in helping Bangladesh's set a target closer to 150 which looked unlikely when his side was reduced to 113-6, despite Zakir’s fighting half-century in his only second Test.

Liton hit 78 while Zakir made 51 as Bangladesh were bowled out for 231 in their second innings.

Bangladesh indeed added 118 runs for the rest of the four wickets as Liton shared 46 and 60 runs with Nurul Hasan Sohan and Taskin Ahmed for the seventh and eighth wicket partnership.

But Bangladesh’s top-order batting was utmost disappointing as they played rash shots once again to script their own downfall.

After resuming at seven without loss, Bangladesh had a disastrous start to the day when offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin gave India first breakthrough in just the second over of the day, trapping opener Najmul  Hossain Shanto leg-before for 5.

Mominul Haque, the highest scorer of Bangladesh in the first innings, then edged pacer Mohammed Siraj delivery behind the wicket for just 5.

But India got the big success of the day, when Jaydev Unadkat baffled Shakib Al Hasan (13) with a slower, leaving Bangladesh at 51-3.

Mushfiqur Rahim continued his bad form and struggled against left-arm spinner Axar Patel, who finally had him lbw on 9 on the stroke of lunch.

Zakir, playing his only second Test, remained calm under pressure and brought up his fifty off 129 balls, with a lovely straight-drive against Umesh Yadav for three runs.

But Umesh laughed the last as he undid the young opener with a short-pitched delivery. Zakir struck five fours in his 135-ball knock.

Before his dismissal, Zakir helped the side take the lead. However India raised the prospect of limiting the lead to smaller but Liton dented the hopes and kept Bangladesh going.

To make the matter worse, India dropped Liton twice on 16 and 49 and on both occasions, Virat Kohli was the fielder as he put down the catches off Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin bowling.

Kohli also shelled the catch of Nurul Hasan Sohan on 27 off the bowling of Axar.

Axar Patel had Sohan stumped for 31 to break the partnership before Taskin and Liton again resisted.

Siraj then came back to move one slightly to scatter the wicket of Liton as Bangladesh’s ambition to set a 200 plus run target was dashed. Liton’s 98 ball-73 was studded by seven fours.

Still Taskin tried hard and played some lusty shots, much to the despair of India.

But India kept coming back to at least limit the target less than 150 runs.

Axar Patel claimed 3-68 while Ashwin and Siraj took two wickets apiece.

More on this topic

More on this topic