Wed, 01 February 2023
The Daily Ittefaq

Ashwin, Iyer deny Bangladesh a historical Test victory

Update : 25 Dec 2022, 15:30

Ravichandran Ashwin and Shreyas Iyer denied Bangladesh a yet another landmark victory as they steered India to a thrilling three-wicket victory from the jaws of defeat in the second and final Test at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

Bangladesh which started this year with a monumental victory on New Zealand soil, closed in on another historical victory to cap off a highly successful year but Iyer and Ashwin refused to give up.

With a mix of caution and aggression on an extremely turning pitch that also offered variable bounce, they shared a 71-run partnership for the undefeated eight wicket after India being reduced to 74-7.

Ashwin was unbeaten on 42 off 62, a knock included four fours and one six with Iyer on 29 off 46, hitting four boundaries as India raced to the victory target of 145-7 on the first session on day four.

Ashwin who also took six wickets in the match, including 4-71 in the first innings, fittingly hit a boundary through mid-on against off spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz to confirm a nerve-wrecking victory, frustrating a good number of Bangladesh fans, who turned up in the stadium to witness a history on a Christmas holiday.

The victory finally helped India sweep the two-match Test series. The visitors won the first Test by 188 runs. Bangladesh however took the three-match ODI series with 2-1.

After India resumed at 45-4 on tricky surface and still needing 100 runs for the victory, Bangladesh was highly favorite to end the year with another victory against a high profile team.

And the home side got the success in just second over of the day, with captain Shakib Al Hasan trapping Jaydev Unadkat leg-before for 13.

Mehidy then brought Bangladesh closer to a victory, striking twice in his successive two overs, sending the whole stadium into delirium.

He rattled the stump of Axar Patel for 34, with a delivery that turned viciously and then had the big fish Rishbah Pant, the highest scorer for India in the first innings with 93. Another gem of spin trapped Pant in front to dismiss him for just 9.

It was a matter of time to seal the deal. But then came the big blow as Mominul Haque put down a catch of Ashwin at short-leg as the batter was on just 1. And that’s the last chance that Bangladesh could realize.

Ashwin and Iyer refused to give up and made sure they won’t be bogged down. They took the disciplined Bangladesh spin attack to precision and most importantly held the nerve to sail the side home.

The victory helped India move to second position behind Australia in the World Test Championship point table.

Bangladesh was all out for 227 in their first innings, after opting to bat first with Mominul Haque making the highest 84. India however racked up 314, thanks to 93 of Pant and 87 of Iyer to take an 87-run lead.

The home side batted poorly again to be bowled out for 231 in the second innings, setting India a 145-run target to win the game. India huffed and puffed but on crucial moment held the nerve to confirm the victory.

More on this topic

More on this topic