Kolkata: In the first day of their maiden day-night Test, India posted 174/3, a lead of 68, after bundling Bangladesh out for 106 in front of a packed, partying Eden Gardens on Friday, 22 November.
Bangladesh opted to bat again, but came up against Ishant Sharma, who took to the pink ball as though he’d been bowling with it his whole life. Ishant returned a brilliant 5/22 – his 10th five-for in the format – and with Umesh Yadav (3/29) and Mohammed Shami (2/36) being almost as unplayable, Bangladesh were shot out in 30.3 overs.
It meant the Indians had to bat in tricky twilights conditions. Mayank Agarwal (14) and Rohit Sharma (21) were seen off within the first 12 overs, but half-centuries from Cheteshwar Pujara (55) and captain Virat Kohli (59*) meant India ended the day in solid control, having seen off 46 overs under lights.
Bangladesh will wonder whether they made the right decision, opting to bat. Mominul Haque, their captain, said the pitch looked good for batting, and Kohli agreed, but the Indian pacemen had the ball on a string. Ishant took just 6.3 overs to break through, after a sustained period of pressure, nipping one into the left-handed Imrul Kayes to have him trapped in front.
It was then the turn of Umesh Yadav, who got his first thanks to a brilliant diving catch from Rohit Sharma at second slip, and two balls later, followed it up by moving one into Mohammad Mithun off the seam, to clean him up. In came Shami soon after, and nipped one in just a tad, enough to force Mushfiqur Rahim to chop on.
Things only got worse, with Umesh squaring up Shadman Islam, the opener, who had till this point patiently knocked around for a 52-ball 29. Within 15 overs, Bangladesh had been reduced to 38/5, and were desperate for a partnership. The most they managed was a 22-run stand for the sixth wicket between Mahmudullah and Liton Das.
That ended when Ishant induced an edge, and Wriddhiman Saha, who was excellent behind the stumps all evening, took a catch on full stretch. By this time, Shami was in his element, and with Bangladesh into their lower order, he unleashed a short-ball attack. Liton Das and Nayeem Hasan both struggled to cope, and with both getting hit on the helmets, Bangladesh had to introduce two concussion substitutes.
Das retired hurt, and was replaced by Mehidy Hasan Miraz, while Nayeem was cleaned up by an Ishant legcutter, and was later substituted for Taijul Islam. Ishant cleaned up the tail, and then it was India’s turn under lights.
The home side didn’t start well. Agarwal pushed one to gully, and became the first to fall off Al-Amin Hossain, and not long thereafter, Rohit Sharma was trapped in front shouldering arms to an Ebadat Hossain inswinger that had him completely deceived.
However, Pujara and Kohli then got together and revived the innings, putting on 94 for the third wicket. Pujara fell shortly after reaching his half-century, becoming Ebadat’s second wicket, but Ajinkya Rahane proved fine company for Kohli, scoring a 22-ball 23*. They will look to make it a long day for Bangladesh on Saturday.