Thursday, March 30, 2023

Bangladesh battle again after Pujara, Iyer prop up India

India 278 for six (Pujara 90, Iyer 82*, Taijul 3-84, Mehidy 2-71) vs Bangladesh

Half-centuries from Cheteshwar Pujara and Shreyas Iyer gave India the benefit on the opening day of the primary Check in Chattogram, however two late wickets meant the door remains to be open for Bangladesh to script a comeback.

At one level, India have been struggling at 48 for 3 however first Pujara and Rishabh Pant, after which Pujara and Iyer stitched collectively essential partnerships to assist them attain 278 for six at stumps. Pujara fell ten in need of what would have been his first Check hundred since January 2019, whereas Iyer completed the day unbeaten on 82.

Each Pujara and Iyer benefitted from the dropped catches as nicely. Pujara was on 12 when Nurul Hasan put him down off the bowling of Ebadot Hossain. That was on the second ball after lunch, when Pujara drove a full supply solely to edge it low to the appropriate of the wicketkeeper. Nurul, although, could not maintain on to the prospect.

Iyer acquired two reprieves. On 30, Nurul grassed an opportunity off Shakib Al Hasan. Then on 67, Ebadot put down an easy catch at deep midwicket, Mehidy Hasan Miraz being the unfortunate bowler this time.

Iyer had one other stroke of luck on 77. Ebadot’s inducker beat his inside edge and brushed the off stump however the bails did not dislodge.

Within the morning, when India opted to bat, Bangladesh captain Shakib hoped the grass cowl would assist his seamers decide up early wickets. However the pitch supplied little help to the quick bowlers, forcing Shakib to carry himself on as early because the sixth over.

The Bangladesh seamers, Ebadot and Khaled Ahmed, did not assist their trigger both by hardly bowling something full. A few of the balls did hold low however they have been all nicely exterior off. Shakib tried enjoying round with the sphere, deploying a leg slip, a catching brief midwicket, and a catching cowl at numerous instances however to no avail.

It was Taijul Islam who finally broke by means of. On the stroke of the primary hour, Shubman Gill tried to lap-sweep him however the ball simply dropped on him, inducing a prime edge. Yasir Ali, anticipating the shot, ran round to his left from first slip and devoured it up.

KL Rahul fell quickly after, chopping Khaled onto his stumps. Within the subsequent over, Virat Kohli performed again to a size ball from Taijul that spun previous his exterior edge and trapped him lbw as he appeared to work the ball into the leg aspect. That meant India, who had appeared in full management at 41 for no loss, have been suddenly in a spot of hassle.

Pujara and Pant, batting of their contrasting types, bailed them out. They added 64 off simply 72 balls for the fourth wicket earlier than Mehidy broke their stand. Having hit the earlier ball for a six, his fiftieth in Check cricket, Pant went again in an try to steer Mehidy behind level. The ball, although, stored coming in with the arm to cramp him. The consequence was a backside edge that bounced off the pitch to dislodge the off bail, and Pant walked again for a 45-ball 46.

Iyer began tentatively, edging his first ball, in opposition to Mehidy, simply previous the slip fielder. Then Ebadot beat each his edges in the identical over. However because the innings progressed, he began wanting an increasing number of comfy and wasn’t afraid to take the aerial route in opposition to spinners.

Pujara, in the meantime, used his ft in opposition to the spinners to skip down the observe usually, even when he did not look in full management on a regular basis. He introduced up his half-century with a 4 off Taijul and celebrated the event with one other boundary off the subsequent ball. Iyer adopted him to the landmark, additionally with a boundary.

With each batters wanting set for his or her a whole lot, Bangladesh took the brand new ball as quickly because it turned accessible. And with that got here the breakthrough. Taijul, who had crushed the skin fringe of each Pujara and Iyer a number of instances, lastly acquired his reward when he acquired one more one to spin previous Pujara’s exterior edge. This time the ball pinged the off stump to finish the 149-run stand.

Axar Patel survived a bat-pad enchantment when Bangladesh did not go for the evaluation however the replay confirmed a transparent inside edge. That did not damage Bangladesh although, with Mehidy trapping him lbw on the final ball of the day to maintain his aspect within the contest.

Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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