India hit back on truncated day
Bangladesh's collapse, like India's, started in the 15th over. India lost three wickets for six runs, Bangladesh lost three for five. India had 79 runs on the board before their collapse, Bangladesh 59. India continued collapsing, bad light granted Bangladesh stay orders. In fact the murky conditions allowed only 24.5 overs of play in the whole day, which means 90.1 overs have been lost on the first two days.
After Sachin Tendulkar reached his 44th Test century, scoring 29 of India's 30 runs on the second day, Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes provided Bangladesh a solid and quick start, reaching 38 in eight overs. The coming together of Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma reduced scoring opportunities, the batsmen started playing and missing, surviving lbw shouts, and two runs in three overs resulted in Kayes slashing outside off, a shot that told the bowlers they were not far off a wicket.
One more close lbw shout against Kayes later, Zaheer got one full and straight enough, and caught him on the crease. Shahriar Nafees, coming back from the ICL, top-edged a pull second ball, and then found Ishant to be too good for him. The ball landed on middle, back of a length, and then nipped away. Nafees had to play at it, and the movement squared him up, taking a healthy edge. In the next over, Zaheer, by now frustrated at missing the edge repeatedly, got one to nip in, squeeze under Tamim's bat, and take the off stump.
In 11 balls, Bangladesh had gone from hoping to dominate India to hoping for a Tendulkar-like stay to carry their fledgling innings. Tendulkar it was who added some respectability to India's total, scoring 105 runs out of the 164 scored since he came to the crease. Resuming on 76 on the second morning, he manoeuvred the strike well and scored his 89th international century. Shakib Al Hasan and Shahadat Hossain reached five-fors - for Shakib, a sixth five-wicket haul in 15 Tests.
Bangladesh came in with the mindset of attacking Nos 10 and 11, and hoping that Tendulkar wouldn't cause irreversible damage in the meantime. In the first four overs, Tendulkar let Ishant play just six balls, only one of which troubled him. And during those four overs, with the field coming up for the last two balls, Tendulkar hit 2, 4, 1, 4, and 6 to get into the 90s. Shahadat then moved round the stumps and the change of angle proved to be too much for Ishant to handle, who edged a delivery going across.
Sreesanth got a single first ball, and Tendulkar reached his century off the last two balls of that Shahadat over - Shakib was seen applauding Tendulkar's effort. At the other end, Sreesanth didn't look overly comfortable against Shakib who got alarming turn, but somehow saw off one over. Shahadat did his bit by bowling a wide yorker and keeping Tendulkar at his end. In the next over, Shakib got a leading edge that ended India's innings.
Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo