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The Bulletin by Sidharth Monga
January 21, 2010
India 243 (Tendulkar 105, Sehwag 52, Shakib 5-62, Shahadat 5-71) and 413 for 8 dec. (Gambhir 116, Laxman 69, Mishra 50) beat Bangladesh 242 (Mahmudullah 69, Zaheer 3-54, Mishra 3-66) and 301 (Mushfiqur 101, Tamim 52, Mishra 4-92, Ishant 3-48) by 113 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out
News : 'They still didn't get 20 wickets' - Sehwag
Analysis : Bangladesh impress, but doubts linger
News : Sehwag thanks bowlers for 'good start to year'
Matches: Bangladesh v India at Chittagong
Series/Tournaments: India tour of Bangladesh
Tamim Iqbal's brief resistance and Mushfiqur Rahim's crowd-pleasing century were way too inadequate for Bangladesh who had no surprises lined up on the final day. Even with an off-rhythm Sreesanth making it a virtual three-man attack, Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan paved India's way to an eventually comfortable win despite their first-innings failure and murky conditions curtailing action on every day of the match. Despite Mushfiqur's knock - the fastest hundred for a Bangladesh player - alongside the tail, they could not last until the final session.
In the end, it was the batsmen who let the Bangladesh bowlers down. Their bowlers might have shown they were better than ordinary, getting India out for 243 in the first innings, but both their batting efforts were ordinary. In the final innings, none of the batsmen showed either the aptitude or the inclination to bat out long periods on a flat pitch and on a day where bad light was bound to cut the day short.
The signs were all there in the first ten minutes of the day. Mohammad Ashraful carried on from an edgy first innings. After surviving two slashes and edges in the first three overs, he drove on the up at an Ishant delivery that held its line enough to take a healthy edge. Raqibul Hasan showed the willingness to fight it out, even taking a blow on the elbow, but Ishant's re-discovered offcutter proved to be too good for him, trapping him plumb in front.
The only bit of fight came from Tamim, who survived the early thorough examination given by Ishant and Zaheer. He concentrated hard, and quelled his natural game for the first hour. Except for one loose drive in the second over, he resisted the cover-drives, and instead relied on bunting the balls close to him for singles. He did not concentrate for long enough, though. The way he tried to open up against Sreesanth and Amit Mishra showed that the first hour had taken a big extra effort. From 27 off 81, when the back-up bowlers were introduced, he moved to 50 off 106, bringing up the milestone with a reverse-sweep.
Eight minutes before lunch, Tamim gave it all away. Virender Sehwag had replaced Sreesanth, and in his second over, Tamim went for a big booming drive when he was close to neither the line nor the length of the delivery. The outside edge was snapped well by an alert Rahul Dravid, and India were sensing the win.
The only man who could hold them up was Shakib Al Hasan, and post the break, he got a special googly from Mishra that kicked at him and took the shoulder of his bat on its way to silly point. Mahmudullah, who scored 69 in the first innings, got into a personal battle with Zaheer, and eventually Bangladesh paid for it. Bouncers, verbals, hooks, upper-cuts, and then a tame edge outside off.
Mushfiqur stood on the burning deck, hit his way to a personal best, added 60 for the eight wicket, then cut, pulled and lofted some more, made Sreesanth mouth off like a madman for no reason, manoeuvred the strike expertly, and managed a consolatory maiden century. Mishra kept at the task, mixing the googlies well with the legbreaks, and took out the last three wickets.
What's wrong with their cricket? Well, what isn't?