Day-Night Test: Mushfiqur fights after another Kohli masterclass

Virat Kohli scores maiden pink ball ton to take India to 347/9; In reply, Bangladesh recovers from 13/4 to avoid defeat in two days.

Mushfiqur scored a fifty to revive Bangladesh in what was yet another collapse for its top order.   -  K.R. Deepak

A packed Eden Gardens on Saturday, Ishant Sharma runs in and picks Shadman Islam with the delivery that he has mastered — the one that looks like swinging away but keeps straight. It took him five balls to trap the southpaw. The pacer returned in the next over to send Mominul Haque packing.

He welcomed Mohammad Mithun with a loud lbw shout followed by a helmet crasher. Test cricket was at its best on the floodlit ground on day two of the pink ball fixture. Bangladesh batsmen were in the line of fire against the Indian quicks who were trying to spray some kerosene with lethal pace bowling.

Day two: As it happened

As soon as India declared at the stroke of twilight, the focus shifted to the Tigers, who have failed to roar in this series. They were thrown the uphill task of surviving the session — keeping the true Test tradition alive — in front of 50,000 people. The pink ball was wayward. It moved and bounced like a street dancer at a carnival but the tourists avoided embarrassment to finish the day at 152/6.

Pacers wreck havoc

Ishant Sharma snared four wickets to leave Bangladesh in the trenches again. Photo: K.R. Deepak



Leaving the bats at 347/9 with a lead of 241, India had sensed victory on day two. The Bangladesh openers became way too defensive. Even before judging the length of the ball, they were trying to leave the deliveries. Of course, survival was the only strategy but it lacked application. The next dismissal, that of Imrul Kayes, was one such. He hung around for 41 minutes but didn’t learn on the job as he stuck his bat out to a delivery outside off to edge it to Virat Kohli at slips. He gave Ishant his third.

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In the interim, Umesh Yadav got Mithun caught at mid-wicket. Post the helmet blow from Ishant, the batsman did not look brave enough to continue in the middle.

The Bangladesh scorecard looked like ISD codes in the first seven overs — Shadman (0), Imrul (5), Mominul (0) and Mithun (6). Then, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah got their act together. The duo were calm yet careful against the Indian quicks.

For the next 67 minutes, the proceedings were under control as the pair stitched 69 runs for the fifth wicket.

Mahmudullah was on song, batting on 39 off 41, when he pulled his hamstring and had to limp off. The seasoned campaigner handled the critical situation with seven handsome boundaries. All his shots reeked of confidence. The pulls and cuts were straight out of a British countryside cricket -  classy and romantic. In the end, Rahim remained unbeaten on 59 (10x4). Ishant (4/39) once again was the pick of the bowlers.

Kohli scored his 27th Test hundred and his first in pink ball cricket. Photo: K.R. Deepak



Kohli superlative

India started steady with Kohli scoring his first pink ball hundred (136). He didn’t look uncomfortable at all as he flicked and drove at ease. Ajinkya Rahane (51) gave him solid support as the pair went on to stitch a partnership of 99 for the fourth wicket. After reaching his 27th ton, Kohli switched on his beast mode to score 19 runs off the 71st over bowled by Abu Jayed. He smashed four boundaries. through the backward region, cover, mid-wicket and point.

Overall, Kohli's innings comprised 18 boundaries and he experienced all the possible conditions in this Test match. On day one, he came into bat at 6:07 pm and by the time he got to his hundred on day 2, it was 2:27 pm. Kohli braved the twilight as well as the early session comfortably. Bangladesh pacers Abu Jayed (2/77), Ebadat Hossain (3/91) and Al-Amin Hossain (3/85) dismissed eight Indian batsmen. Concussion substitute Taijul Islam bowled 25 overs of slow left arm. He picked up Rahane.