Bangladesh’s fight continues for another day. Bangladesh finished their first innings at 388 runs and was unable to avoid the follow-on. India, however, did not enforce the follow-on as they came out to bat for a session and scored quickly to give Bangladesh a target of 459 runs. Bangladesh started their innings well but lost 3 wickets at the end of the day. Bangladesh needs to dig deep if they want to come out of this with a positive result.
First Session –
Bhuvneshwar Kumar started the day with the ball and was getting movement from the word go. His fourth ball swung very late and sneaked through the gate between Mehedi’s bat and pad to crash into the stumps – ending the resilient fight very early in the morning – not something Bangladesh had hoped for. Taijul was the next batsman in with clear instruction to stay as long a possible to support the captain.
Taijul wasn’t comfortable in the middle at all – his batting technique was a bit awkward at times. His misery ended when he gloved a short ball from Yadav leading to an easy catch for the keeper. Mushfiqur decided to take control as Taskin was the next man in. He played the bowler according to the merit of the ball and tried to retain strike when possible. Mushfiqur’s fighting innings was rewarded as he reached his 5th century with a flick down the leg side – fantastic innings under the circumstances.
The batsmen’s objective was clear to bat as long as possible. Mushfiqur was well supported by Taskin for a period of time. However, Taskin’s 38-ball innings ended when he edged Jadeja and was caught at slips. Bangladesh was still behind by quite a long way. Mushfiqur decided to attack and get as many runs possible for his team. His masterclass innings eventually came to an end at 127 runs when he was caught behind while playing a sweep shot – leading to Ashwin’s 250th test wicket.
Bangladesh ended their first innings at 388 runs, falling short by 299 runs. However, India have been in the field for about 127 overs and wanted to give a break to their bowlers, therefore, they did not enforce the follow-on and decided to bat again. The openers came out to bat for an over before heading out for lunch.
Second Session –
India already leading by a healthy margin at the stroke of lunch – 300 runs. The batsmen came out with a plan to play an aggressive innings to accumulate as many runs in the post-lunch session – ideally looked to declare at tea, as it would allow them with 4 sessions to knock off Bangladesh’s 10 wickets to win the game.
Taskin took advantage of the aggressive nature of the opening pair as he sent both the batsmen packing – India lost 2 wickets for 23 runs. It did not matter much as the intention was clear that the Indian batsmen were here to score quick runs to extend their lead. Kohli and Pujara took control of the situation and was building a decent partnership. Kohli got himself out trying to attack for 38 runs. Rahane continued the good work with Pujara to extend the lead beyond 400 runs before getting bowled by Shakib. Jadeja came out for the last couple of overs before tea and added few valuable runs to their lead.
Pujara raced to his 50 in the process as India decided to declare at Tea, setting Bangladesh 459 runs to win with 4 sessions to play for. A huge ask for Bangladesh. The pitch did not show any sign of deterioration yet which could give Bangladeshi batsmen a bit of mental strength that there is still enough on the pitch for the batters. They need to apply themselves correctly and hope that fortune favours them. Bangladesh’s character would be tested here for sure.
Third Session –
Tamim and Soumya started the 2nd innings of Bangladesh cautiously. For Bangladesh to have any chance in this game the pair needed to give the team a good start. Unfortunately for Bangladesh that was not the case. There was a huge appeal by the Indian team for an lbw when Ashwin was bowling to Tamim. However, Kohli was convinced that it was a catch out instead. The umpire did not give it out and Kohli went up for a review immediately. In the review, there was a clear inside edge which ruled out the initial lbw appeal but Tamim was given out as the evidence showed that ball was legally caught by Kohli. A huge blow for Bangladesh as they lost their first wicket for just 11 runs.
Mominul and Soumya now needed to dig deep and build a partnership. The pair played some delightful shots and reached to their 50 run partnership. Both of them looked confident and were negotiating the bowling with ease. When things were looking very comfortable, Soumya was caught out while playing for a turn when Jadeja bowled a perfect length delivery just outside the off stump which kept pretty straight. His solid innings came to an end at 42 runs – another opportunity scuffed to score big despite having a solid start. In his defence, it was a superb single-handed low catch by Rahane. To make things bad from worse for Bangladesh, Ashwin got rid off Mominul who was also caught at slips for 27 runs.
Bangladesh had fallen from 71/1 to 75/3 – both settled batsmen falling in space of 4 runs. It was the experienced Mahmuduallah and Shakib pair at the crease and Bangladesh could no way afford to lose any of these two batsmen before the end of the day. Shakib escaped a scare when he was given out for a catch but he reviewed it immediately. To his and Bangladesh’ relief, the ball missed the bat by some distance and the decision was reversed. There wasn’t long before the end of the play but Shakib cared less as he started attacking the bowling – pretty sure every Bangladeshi fan were at the edge of their seat at that point. He smashed Jadeja for back to back boundaries after having a bit of chit-chat with Virat Kohli. Things were getting pretty tensed out in the middle. However, both Mahmdullah and Shakib survived the day without any further damage, as Bangladesh finished the day on 103/3 – with 356 runs more to score.
Bangladesh have a massive task in their hand to get anything out of this game. The experienced pair need to bat long and need support from the other batsmen survive another 90 overs tomorrow. It will not be easy but it is not impossible. For India, it is simple – pick up the remaining 7 wickets and win the game. An exciting finale is on the cards. For Bangladesh’s sake the pair who survived the day needs to bat as long as possible, if they can manage to do it then we anything can happen.
Hope that the players will take their responsibility and lead to a positive result – bringing cheer to all the Bangladeshi fan. Can they do dig deep and draw the game or even get close to winning it? Will find out tomorrow..!!