India v Bangladesh, only Test, Hyderabad, 4th day February 12, 2017

India need seven wickets on final day


Bangladesh 388 (Mushfiqur 127, Umesh 3-84) and 103 for 3 (Ashwin 2-34) need another 356 to beat India 687 for 6 decl. and India 159 for 4 decl. (Pujara 54*)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Binoy: Odds are heavily stacked against Bangladesh

Tests hurtle towards results on the moving day in India, which has of late shifted to the third from the fourth day. On a flatter surface in Hyderabad, the Test moved on the fourth day but decisively so towards India after only 12 wickets had fallen on the first three days. India took the four remaining first-innings wickets in one session despite an impressive Mushfiqur Rahim century, followed it up with a busy session to take their lead to 458 and took three second-innings wickets in the final session to bring themselves within sight of a win.

There might be some disappointed that India didn't enforce the follow-on keeping in mind the flat nature of the pitch, but India always looked like giving Bangladesh four sessions to survive, which was going to be a daunting task. In fourth innings in India, only twice have visiting sides batted more than the minimum of 125 overs Bangladesh were asked to bat. This was also only 2.5 overs fewer than what Bangladesh played in the first innings, only the second time they have lasted 100 overs against India.

It became all the worse when R Ashwin, who had become the fastest to 250 wickets with the last first-innings wicket 10 minutes before lunch, removed Tamim Iqbal as early as the sixth over of the final innings. Ashwin might have got just the two wickets in the first innings, but he was well and truly in rhythm bowling with the new ball against left-hand batsmen at the top of the innings. The rough outside their off stump had now become active, and Ashwin kept pitching just outside off, dipping the ball to make them stretch forward. This is when the natural variation becomes lethal as Tamim found out, bat-padding one that didn't turn as much as expected.

Soumya Sarkar and Mominul Haque kept India at bay for 16.4 overs, with India bowling seam at one end and spin at the other, but the introduction of Ravindra Jadeja brought a new challenge. Jadeja began targeting that rough obsessively, and in his second over he had the tall Sarkar stretching in front of his body to play a forward-defensive. This time the ball went straight on as opposed to turning, and Ajinkya Rahane took a sharp one-handed catch low to his right at slip.

In the next over Ashwin made it a double strike, moving over the wicket to Mominul and drawing a regulation edge. There was dip and there was a piece of pitch that came off when the ball pitched on leg stump. There wasn't much Mominul could do there. Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah then went through a nervous 10.5 overs to give Bangladesh a half chance of saving the Test.

It was quite different to how comfortably Mushfiqur and Mehedi Hasan had batted out the final session on day three. That calm was disrupted with Bhuvneshwar Kumar's reverse swing in the first over on the fourth morning. He did it each way: swinging the first ball in, the second out, the third in, and the fourth through the defence of the impressive Mehedi who had begun the day on 51.

Through some fortune and through some application, Mushfiqur and Taijul Islam batted together for close to 10 overs. Taijul faced 38 of those deliveries as Mushfiqur didn't farm the strike. Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma tested both of them with bouncers with Taijul finally gloving one through to Saha.

Mushfiqur might be struggling as a captain and a wicketkeeper but as a batsman he stood between India and complete and utter dominance of the Test. He had a hamstring issue towards stumps on day three, he had his gloves peppered, he saw his lower-order partners struggle against India's fast bowling but went on to complete a second consecutive century as India took almost the whole first session to bowl Bangladesh out. Along the way he overtook Habibul Bashar to become the third-highest run-getter for Bangladesh.

Mushfiqur, who had added only six more singles to his overnight score by the time Taijul got out, then got a six off a top-edged hook and started to score more freely. A misfield from Ishant at fine leg brought up the century. Mushfiqur wasn't done yet as he targeted Ashwin after spin was introduced only in the second hour, hitting him for two fours and a six. Jadeja and Ashwin remained persistent, though, and finally broke through. Jadeja's dismissal of the left-hand No. 10 Taskin Ahmed was almost identical to how he got Sarkar caught at slip in the second innings.

Ashwin then got to his record through a stunning catch by Wriddhiman Saha down the leg side off a carrom ball. The shot was on, though: the ball was short, Mushfiqur had only No. 11 for company, and he attempted a fine pull. He managed to just glove it through but Saha had moved well with the ball to catch it.

Having secured a lead of 299, India chose to give their bowlers a breather and batted on in the middle session. Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane scored quick runs, with Pujara hooking Taskin Ahmed for only the eighth six of his Test career. India scored 158 in the middle session to take their lead to 458. Pujara scored an unbeaten 54 off 58, and also batted with Saurashtra team-mate Jadeja for the first time in a Test.

Later in the day, Jadeja would go back to team up with a familiar partner, Ashwin, to strike telling blows.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sapjob7026530 on February 13, 2017, 10:41 GMT

    @ASEMAHDI: What @cric junky was saying was that BAN won only ONE test at home, not even a series. What you are mentioning is a win in ODI series. Please don't confuse Test with ODIs. BAN has won only one Test against ENG in all recently and drew the series 1-1. So what @cric_junky is saying is that even that one test win wasn't easy.

  • vnr on February 13, 2017, 7:36 GMT

    Excellent tactical bowling by Ishant Sharma swings the game decisively in India's favor -- this is like watching a talented youngster challenging Roger Federer: you know the great Master will win, but a good contest and the exciting possibilities make it compelling viewing right up to the finish... we Indians should learn the art of Optimism from Bangladesh; they just feel they can succeed from any position! So I will follow their lead and predict that Mehedi Hasan will calmly take BD to a well-earned draw. However, BD fans will firmly believe they can still win the Test match!

  • rajeev9986700 on February 13, 2017, 6:43 GMT

    Bangladesh has performed much better on day 5 than England, NZ, South Africa On Indian pitches. If they draw it will be considered as a win.

  • Asem on February 13, 2017, 6:43 GMT

    @cric junky: Three at least. Bangladesh won series against NZ, South Africa and India last year and these are top sides. Don't really consider Pakistan as a strong side anymore so not counting whitewashing them. But like I said before defeating on our home ground is nothing to proud of. BD has a long way to go as we can see from this test match. The day we can achieve a 5-0 win in a test series against Australia/ South Africa/ India on their homeground is the day we can be proud of our achievement. Till then it should be keeping the head down and working on improvement.

  • Aumkar on February 13, 2017, 6:38 GMT

    To all the ignorant posers out there, matches in India are most unlikely to finish in 3 days as the pitch deteriorates in SC as the match progresses. While outside these chances are more since its hardest initially & softens for batting as match progresses. Thats the reason you would see more matches outside SC finishing in 3 days. Now for matches in SC which finished in 3 days the culprit was the loosing team playing extremely bad or the pitch was an outright substandard. Even the Nagpur pitch lasted long. So those fans saying BD taking the match to 5th day do not know the game that well. If Ind has batted for 2 days at a runrate of nearly 4 then that isn't credit to BD. BD couldn't go close to at least 500 on a batting beauty where India again scored at 5 RPO isn't credit to BD. Umesh bowled an outstanding spell as agreed by Shakib himself isn't credit to BD. If fans find solace in match going to 5th day then they either underestimated BD or seem to have a very high opinion of IND.

  • MD on February 13, 2017, 6:34 GMT

    @ELECTRIC_LOCO_WAP4_IS_DELUDED: Definitely matter of time but not in 3rd or 4th day, what was expected by some aggressive IND fan.This is fifth day and 1st session is over with five wickets remain. Anyway, on the contrary to comments to praise Ashwin, I rather praise Umesh for his outstanding bowling. What he did in the flat trac, he will be extremely lethal in bouncy pitches in ENG in upcoming CHAMP TROPHY.

  • joaulr6208069 on February 13, 2017, 6:19 GMT

    This match will not go to the final session of the day, BD's lower middle order will face hell test after lunch. But if this two batsman can survive anyhow, then I want to say that drawn will be the final result undoubtly,,,

  • Manik on February 13, 2017, 6:13 GMT

    I know its matter of time now. But IND changed the date expecting not to play on Monday. Now BD forced them to play Monday; not only one session but may go to 3rd session. That's BD's credit.

  • sapjob7026530 on February 13, 2017, 6:12 GMT

    Nice try AMMO by trying to brand this pitch a dust bowl. This pitch is flat, absolutely not much help to any bowler. It is just a matter of showing grit and applying oneself as a batsman, BAN can still play for a draw here if they have the determination. There are no demons in this pitch.

  • amithc3622948 on February 13, 2017, 6:11 GMT

    the rough for the left handers... quite tough for them to bat... compared to right handers... rahim just gave it away.. bangladesh still within a chance... as no rough for right hand batsmen... they have 2 now... one mehdi to come... if they do it sensibly u never knw they can win too... but if they lose 2 its all over...

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