For Bangladesh, it was a game of fear, a spell to survive.
Virat Kohli’s overnight declaration pushed the side in the line of fire early on Day Three of the World Test Championship fixture at the Holkar Stadium here. At one stage, it looked as if the contest would conclude in the first session itself. The Indian quicks were breathing fire, but Mushfiqur Rahim (64, 150b, 7x4) stretched it till the last session.
Rahim stood tall for 225 minutes, stitched partnerships with Liton Das (63 runs for the sixth wicket) and Mehidy Hasan Miraz (59 runs for the seventh wicket) but it wasn’t enough to make India bat again. In the end, the host dismissed Bangladesh for 213, winning by an innings and 130 runs to remain on top of the Test championship table.
Four slips and a gully, similar to how Steve Waugh would set the field for Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie back in the day, created fear in the middle. You nick, we catch! The Bangladeshis have been poor in reading the length throughout the Test match. Rahim and Mominul Haque are good leavers but there was always a sense of uncertainty with some of the deliveries generating late swing.
Openers Shadman Islam and Imrul Kayes provided a photocopy of their lacklustre first-innings performance. They were yet again dismissed for six runs each. Umesh Yadav’s tearaway pace and movement cleaned up Kayes, and Ishant ran through the bat-pad gap of Islam to kiss the top of middle-stump.
Skipper Mominul Haque started off with a classy boundary off Yadav but one ball later, a bullet of a delivery brushed through his pads to the wicketkeeper. Umpire Marais Erasmus turned down the lbw shout. India went for a review and lost but it kept Haque on a tight leash.
After surviving a series of rippers, Haque finally fell to second-innings red-ball beast Mohammed Shami, who, after trapping the batsman in front of stumps, convinced his captain to go for the review. This time, it went in India’s favour.
Kohli did not bring in his spinners in the first session — a rare instance in a Test match in India.
Too little, too late
Das and Mehidy looked confident but they left it too late. The former hit six graceful boundaries in his quickfire 35 (39b, 6x4). A cover drive off Shami oozed class.
Lower-order batsman Mehidy (38, 55b, 5x4, 1x6) even smashed R. Ashwin for a six but the off-spinner retaliated with a caught-and-bowled dismissal a few balls later.
Shami (4 for 31) was the pick of the bowlers. Towards the end of the innings, Ashwin picked up the crucial wicket of Rahim — caught by Pujara at mid-off — and tail-ender Ebadat Hossain to finish with three wickets.
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