Bangladesh was propped up by a gutsy, backs-to-the-wall half-century by Mominul Haque (84, 157b, 12x4, 1x6) as it made 227 first-innings runs on day one of the second Test at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium here. In reply, India was 19 for no loss at stumps.
The former Bangladesh captain, who was not picked for the Chattogram Test, hadn’t reached double-digit figures in nine straight innings.
But he came up with a chanceless knock, but for one thick edge off R. Ashwin that flew between Rishabh Pant and Virat Kohli at first slip early on.
Mominul kept it tight, mostly clipping and guiding deliveries bowled on his legs for runs. As time wore on, he turned less risk-averse, lifting Jaydev Unadkat – who replaced Kuldeep Yadav in an eyebrow-raising move – over the cordon and cutting him to the point fence to reach his fifty.
He danced down the track to Ashwin and went inside-out, before clubbing the offie for a six over wide long-on to move into the 80s. But Ashwin eventually had his measure when Mominul shouldered arms to a carrom ball and the red cherry brushed the glove and nestled in Pant’s hands.
Bangladesh could have prospered a bit more if not for its lead batters’ now infamous tardiness. After electing to bat, openers Najmul Hossain and Zakir Hasan held the Indian bowlers at bay for more than an hour, only for the middle-order to undo all the good work.
Skipper Shakib Al Hasan spooned a catch to the mid-off fielder off Umesh Yadav (15-4-25-4) first ball after lunch while Litton Das (25, 26b, 2x4, 1x6) couldn’t keep a lazy flick off Ashwin down and was caught at short mid-wicket.
Mehidy Hasan, in fine batting form of late, tried to cut Umesh when there was no room and edged behind.
The innings’ first breakthrough was however provided by Unadkat, who snared first-Test centurion Zakir for his maiden Test wicket. Unadkat had played his only other Test way back in December 2010, even before Kohli made his debut.
He bowled a nagging line and repeatedly got the ball to rise awkwardly. Zakir was out to one such delivery which rose and ballooned off the glove to K.L. Rahul at fourth slip. He also ended the dogged Mushfiqur Rahim’s resistance (26, 46b, 5x4), squaring him up and having him caught behind.
The circumstances surrounding Unadkat’s selection may not have been ideal, but the 31-year-old acquitted himself rather well.