On a day that belonged entirely to visitors India, multiple heroes stepped up against Bangladesh to ensure that KL Rahul’s side was in the driving seat of the first Test at Chattogram posting 404 runs in their first innings and reducing Bangladesh to 133/8 at stumps on day two.
The day may have started with Bangladesh making an early impact by dismissing the well-set Shreyas Iyer but it is one of the few moments that did go in their favour during the entire day’s play.
The match saw Ashwin Ravichandran add another note into the discourse about why he must be considered among the best all-rounders in Test cricket. It was followed by a handy cameo by Kuldeep Yadav that put him in touching distance of his first Test fifty before he succumbed to Taijul Islam. Taijul and Mehidy Hasan Miraz picked up a four-for each but India had successfullly pushed past a competitive first innings total, finishing with 404 runs.
What followed was just the start India needed as Mohammad Siraj began his wicket-taking duties with the first ball itself dismissing opener Najmul Shanto before picking up the wickets of Zakir Hasan and Litton Das with Umesh Yadav playing the enforcer’s role.
Then, it was over to Kuldeep Yadav, who showed why the bowling change was one of KL Rahul’s best decisions of the day. He too picked up a four-for, ensuring a Bangladesh batting collapse that will be hard to recover from on Day 3.
Here’s a look at the session-by-session recap of Day 2:
Bangladesh picked up from where they left off to retain the momentum they built overnight. Although the day had ended with spin, Day 2 began with pacer Ebadot Hossain probing Shreyas Iyer with short balls before finally dismissing him with a length ball. Iyer missed out on a hundred, just like Cheteshwar Pujara did but the knock placed India in a good position.
For India to post an threatening total though, it was vital that R Ashwin impress with his batting prowess. He needed the support of Kuldeep Yadav to do so and it’s exactly what happened. As Bangladesh were hoping to get rid of the tail fast, Ashwin and Kuldeep kept the hosts at bay and added 55 runs in their unbroken eighth-wicket stand. The two lower order batters did not hasten things and went through the hard grind to help India post 348/7 at Lunch.
In the session: 30 overs, 70 runs, 1 wicket
Post lunch session
The post lunch session comfortably belonged to India, thanks to Ashwin’s 13th Test fifty and his 87-run partnership with Kuldeep Yadav. Yadav ably supported his senior spin-bowling partner but fell just 10 runs short of what would have been his first Test half century. Umesh Yadav then pitched in with some helpful hits in the end. Thanks to the Indian lower middle order’s fight, the visitors were able to post a competitive 404 in the first innings.
Spinners Mehidy Hasan and Taijul Islam grabbed four wickets each while Shakib Al Hasan remained missing, probably due to the fitness concerns around him before the match.
In order to ensure that the momentum rests entirely with them, India were eyeing early wickets and they got exactly that when Mohammad Siraj struck off the first ball of the innings, forcing Shanto to nick behind for a duck. Umesh Yadav too joined in as he castled Yasir Ali. In the ten overs bowled before tea, debutant Zakir Hasan remained resolute in his defence while the in-form Litton Das appeared to be in good touch, knocking three back-to-back boundaries in the last over.
In the session: India - 13.5 overs, 56 runs, 3 wickets
Bangladesh - 10 overs, 37 runs, 2 wickets
Post tea session
Just as Litton Das had started to look dangerous, hitting Umesh for back-to-back boundaries in the last over before tea, Mohammad Siraj exchanged a few words with Das but had the last laugh dismissing him for 24 runs. It was also the moment that allowed a brief phase of Rishabh Pant’s chirps behind the stumps.
Bangladesh’s hopes were then reliant on their seniors Mushfiqur Rahim and captain Shakib Al Hasan. However, Kuldeep Yadav then stepped up to bowl a brilliant spell. He got Shakib with his second ball and almost had Nurul Hasan LBW in the same over. He then sent back Rahim for 28 and then completed his four-for by picking Taijul Islam as Bangladesh were down to 8 wickets.
It almost looked like the last few overs would see the remaining two Bangladesh batters crumble too but Mehidy Hasan put up a resilient batting display yet again along with Taijul Islam, making sure his team lived to see another day (and delay a follow-on).
In the session: 24 overs, 96 runs, 6 wickets