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The Bulletin by Rahul Bhatia
December 20, 2004
India 540 beat Bangladesh 333 and 124 (Pathan 5-32) by an innings and 83 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball commentary
The end came swiftly. Off the fourth ball of the morning, Talha Jubair was caught on the boundary. India swept the series, winning this Test by an innings and 83 runs to give them a win-loss-draw record of 6-3-3 for the year.
Bangladesh were out of their depth once again in this series, except for a few glimpses of the heights that they could reach. Mashrafe Mortaza and Mohammad Rafique bowled as if the team's hopes rested solely on their shoulders. And then there was Mohammad Ashraful, who mauled India's bowlers as if he had an Australian passport. While the team continues to lose heavily, something has changed. There is more defiance and, with injured players returning, a new strength. They cannot be taken as lightly as they once were.
India broke several records within the last fortnight. The bowlers took wickets, and nearly every batsman plundered the attack. This was seen as the ideal opportunity to build form before Pakistan visit early next year. But while Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar stroked big hundreds fluently, and Irfan Pathan decimated the opposition thrice, the runs and wickets have come against a team that blew hot and cold. Numbers rose - a welcome sight at the end of a turbulent year - but somewhere it will linger that they could not weather the storm when it mattered most, losing the Border-Gavaskar Trophy to a team that widened the chasm between themselves and the rest of the planet.
Rahul Bhatia is on the staff of Cricinfo.
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