India prevails by 208 runs despite Bangladesh's dogged resistance

In pursuit of 459 for victory, the neighbouring nation’s chase petered to a halt 208 runs short, six minutes after Tea was extended on the concluding day.

Ravichandran Ashwin (centre) picked up four wickets in the second innings, helping India to a massive win.   -  AFP

It’s a pity that history hails the victor, often excessively, when the vanquished have so much to offer. Bangladesh deserved a tip of the hat for holding out almost to the very end before succumbing to defeat in the Paytm one-off cricket Test match (the first ever in this country) at the Rajiv Gandhi international stadium on Monday.

In pursuit of 459 for victory, the neighbouring nation’s chase petered to a halt 208 runs short, six minutes after Tea was extended on the concluding day.

> SCORECARD AND BALL-BY-BALL DETAILS

It was a commendable show by Bangladesh, often scoffed at as a side incapable of lasting for more than four days. The visiting team proved it could and against the world’s No. 1 team. India notched up its 19th win on the trot, the last defeat coming at the hands of Sri Lanka, back in 2015.

> India v Bangladesh: Day five in pictures

Much was expected of Shakib Al Hasan on the final morning but his end would have disappointed him more than his team. Ravindra Jadeja’s ball rose a little raggedly from the rough, even kicking up a small mushroom of dust. The all-rounder’s edge was faint but it bounced off his pad to the waiting hands of Cheteshwar Pujara at forward short leg. Shakib briefly stood his ground till the forefinger of fate went up.

Bangladesh again turned to its Man Friday Mushfiqur. A cordon of close-in fielders baying for his blood hemmed him in but he walked the circle of fire without flinching. The bat in his hand made the difference in his duel with Ishant Sharma, who towers a couple of feet over him. Mushfiqur promptly despatched over the fine leg fence a headbanger the tearaway unleashed.

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The Bangladesh skipper’s stay was however short-lived. Attempting an encore of the boundary he cracked off Ashwin a couple of deliveries earlier, or perhaps an even bigger hit, Mushfiqur’s miscued inside-out drive wasn’t destined to shore up Bangladesh’s sagging scoreline. It didn’t get further than mop-topped Jadeja in the covers, who waited for the descending cherry and clutched it close to his sunglasses.

Mahmudullah made up for his captain’s loss by assuming the mantle, shepherding his side to 202 at lunch.

If patience is essential for the long haul, the Mymensingh-native ran short of it in the second session. He pulled a snorter from Ishant, didn’t come to terms with the delivery and was held by long leg Bhuvneshwar.

Murali Vijay at first slip grassed a chance from Mehedi Hasan off Ishant. India was champing at the bit but Bangladesh strived to delay the inevitable, refusing to descend into the depths of despair. The eighth-wicket pair of Mehedi and Kamrul Islam held its own against the home side’s three-pronged pace battery working with the second new ball. Kamrul weathered the barrage for 70 balls to score three!

On an increasingly docile pitch, Jadeja proved the antidote even if the shine was still not off from the sphere. With a delivery high on speed, spin and bounce, the southpaw got the ball to kick and squeeze out a catch from Mehedi to Wriddhiman Saha behind the timbers.

Taijul Islam, terrorised by Ishant in the first innings, took a swipe at Jadeja. The mishit went skywards with Vijay and K.L. Rahul converging on the ball. In the melee, Rahul gripped the ball firmly. Taskin’s bid to work the ball around his feet misfired as he took a rap on the pads. A referral sealed his fate and that of Bangladesh.

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