Sports, Cricket

India set mammoth target for Bangladesh

Published : 16 Dec 2022 08:32 PM

Shubman Gill struck a maiden century as India declared their second innings at 258-2 to set Bangladesh a daunting 513-run target to win the first Test in Chittagong on Friday.

In response, Bangladesh openers Najmul Hossain Shanto and Zakir Hasan saw out the 12 overs left in the day’s play. They will resume the day needing 471 runs to win.

This was after Kuldeep Yadav, playing his first Test in 22 months and eighth overall, picked up his third five-wicket haul to skittle out Bangladesh for 150 in the first innings.

Resuming the day on 133 for 8, Bangladesh could add only 17 more as Kuldeep had Ebadot Hossain caught down the leg side in the fifth over of the day to complete his five-for. Mehidy Hasan Miraz, the other overnight batter, tried to farm the strike even more after that but was stumped off Axar Patel soon after while going for a big hit. That gave India a lead of 254 but they decided against enforcing the follow-on.

In the second innings, Khaled Ahmed and Taijul Islam opened the bowling for Bangladesh as Ebadot didn’t step onto the field. On Thursday too, after dismissing Shreyas Iyer, he was off the field for the rest of India’s first innings. With Shakib Al Hasan also not bowling, probably because of the rib injury he sustained during the ODI series, the hosts were left with just three frontline bowlers.

KL Rahul and Gill, though, started slowly, accumulating only 16 runs in the first eight overs. Gill upped the scoring rate after lunch but Khaled broke their 70-run stand. Using the short-ball play, he first hurried Rahul and then had him pulling one to fine leg for 23.

Khaled also hit Pujara on the body twice, but the plan didn’t work against Gill, who took the short ball on and hit the seamer for a four and a six. Later, as Khaled seemed to be tiring at the end of his seven-over spell, Pujara too pulled him for four.

Against spinners, Gill used the sweep shot to good effect, picking up three boundaries with it. He, though, had a scare on 70 when Yasir Ali pinged him on the pads. The on-field umpire ignored the vociferous appeal, and when Bangladesh opted to review it, they were told the DRS technology was down.

Post tea, Gill and Pujara batted with even more intent. Gill moved to 99 with a reverse-swept four off Mehidy and two balls later hit him over mid-on for a one-bounce four to get to his hundred. He fell for 110 while attempting another big shot, but Pujara took over after that.

Having reached his fifty off 87 deliveries, Pujara took only 43 balls more to get to his hundred. On the way, he used his feet against spinners to loft them over mid-off and mid-on, deployed the lap sweep on more than one occasion, and even brought out the reverse sweep as India eyed declaration.

From the other end, Virat Kohli almost exclusively dealt in singles. He and Pujara added 75 off 73 balls in an unbroken stand for the fifth wicket, Kohli’s share in that being 19 off 29 balls.

A misfield at mid-on took Pujara to the three-figure mark off 130 balls, and with that, India declared their innings as well.