Chattogram: India continued to solidify their grip on the first Test against Bangladesh at Chattogram, striking three more times in the final session of the fourth day of the match, leaving the hosts struggling at 272/6 at the end of the day’s play, with 241 more runs required to win with only four wickets in hand.
At the end of the play, Shakib al Hasan (40*) and Mehidy Hasan Miraz (9*) were unbeaten for Bangladesh. After tea, India was at 176/3, with Zakir Hasan (82*) Mushfiqur Rahim (2*) unbeaten at the crease.
Hasan continued to attack Indian bowlers, helping Bangladesh cross the 200-run mark and also bringing up his century on Test debut. Finally, it was spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who gave Men in Blue the much-needed scalp of Hasan, sending him back for 100 off 224 balls. Bangladesh was now 208/4.
India continued to solidify their grip on the match, with spin doing the trick for them. Axar Patel pulled back India into the game big time, dismissing Mushfiqur Rahim (23) and Nurul Hasan (3). Bangladesh was at 238/6, needing a massive 275 runs to win with only four wickets left.
Skipper Shakib Al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan Miraz helped the hosts get through the remainder of the day without any damage. Bangladesh was 272/6 at the end of the day, with Hasan (40*) and Miraz (9*) at the crease.
India inched closer to victory after making inroads in the Bangladeshi lineup, needing seven wickets to win at the tea break in the first test here at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chattogram.
Umesh Yadav, Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav each picked up a wicket to push Bangladesh into trouble as they still have four sessions to bat with only seven wickets in hand.
The hosts were left in a spot of bother at 176/3, needing 337 runs to win. India accounted for three wickets giving away just 57 runs in the day’s second session to roar back into the game. Mushfiqur Rahim (2*) and Zakir Hasan (82*) were at the crease for Bangladesh at tea.
Resuming the inning at 109/0 post lunch, Bangladesh lost opener Najmul Hossain Shanto soon as a result of some disciplined bowling from the Indian bowlers. Umesh Yadav kept the ball in the line of uncertainty as the batter poked to produce an outside edge which was grabbed by Pant. The left-hander played a resilient knock of 67 runs.
Axar Patel was superb with his line and length as he kept things tight to produce maiden overs from one end. The spinner was awarded soon enough as he got rid of Yasir Ali (5) to give India its second breakthrough.
The Indians dried off the runs completely to create pressure on the hosts. Kuldeep kept asking questions with the ball as he beat the edge on multiple occasions. He was rewarded for his willy bowling as he dismissed Litton Das who looked completely clueless against the spinner.
Litton was sent to the pavilion after scoring just 19 runs. The wicket sparked celebrations from the Indians. The men in blue looked to attack and placed close-in fielders but the Bangladeshi batting pair took their team to tea without further hiccups.
Bangladesh could not have had a better start to the day as openers Najmul Hossain Shanto 64(143) and Zakir Hasan 55(109) remained unbeaten at the end of the first session.
The batters played with a high level of resilience on a pitch that had slowed significantly and made the Indian bowlers toil hard.
Resuming the day from their overnight score of 42/0, the openers started watchfully, weary of the threat Indian spinners posed on a spin-friendly track.
As expected, India started with Kuldeep Yadav who bagged a fifer in the first inning and made life difficult for the Bangladeshi batters in the first inning. The team expected a similar performance from the spinner but the batters were up to the task and countered the chinaman skillfully.
Shanto and Zakir played with grit, patience and concentration on a pitch that had uneven bounce and brought up their individual fifties. The duo dug in to take Bangladesh to the three-figure mark.
Brief Scores: Bangladesh 150 and 272/6 (Zakir Hasan 100, Shakib Al Hasan 40*, Axar Patel 3/50) vs India 404 and 258/2 declared (Shubman Gill 110, Cheteshwar Pujara 102*, Khaled Ahmed 1/51). -ANI