If you thought day two was dominated by India, day three of the First Test against Bangladesh had more of the same in store. While Kuldeep Yadav dictated proceedings with the ball on Thursday, Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara piled on the misery against Bangladesh as India declared the second innings at 258/2 with a massive 512-run lead.
In reply, Bangladesh finished with 42/0 on day three at stumps but they will head into the dressing room knowing well the height of the mountain they have to scale. A mountain that essentially requires them to score another 471 runs or brave six sessions against India’s bowlers. The pitch may have become easier to bat on but India will take massive confidence from their performance so far in the Test and hope to wrap things up quickly.
Here’s a look at the session-wise recap of Day 3:
All India required was an hour of the third day to clean up Bangladesh’s lower order after the hosts began on 133-8. Kuldeep Yadav picked up 5/40, to register his third five-wicket haul in Tests as India bowled out Bangladesh for 150 and set up a commanding 254-run lead after the first innings of the first Test.
Mehidy Hasan showed some late resistance before getting dismissed for 25 by Axar Patel in the 12th over of the morning. Despite scoring 404 and having a healthy lead, India decided against enforcing the follow-on.
Openers KL Rahul and Shubman Gill, keen to get some runs, were back in the middle and started batting rather cautiously, going into lunch at 20 and 15 respectively. The visitors were 36-0 in their second innings before lunch.
In the session: Bangladesh: 12 overs, 17 runs, 2 wickets, India: 15 overs, 36 runs, 0 wickets
Post lunch session:
Although skipper Rahul got a steady start, he was India’s lone casualty before tea as he holed out to Taijul Islam off Khaled Ahmed at fine leg after being peppered by short balls. His two low scores in the Test match will make for an interesting selection headache if Rohit Sharma is fit and available for the second match.
However, India continued to marched forward with great ease despite his dismissal.
There was an instance where Bangladesh were hopeful and they requested a review when Gill was at 70 but the unavailability of DRS due to a technological glitch meant that they couldn’t review the decision. For the naked eye, it looked like Gill was in trouble.
Cheteshwar Pujara was far more fluent in run-scoring than usual, going about his work briskly and keeping the scoreboard ticking. Bangladesh were already in trouble but it became tougher in the absence of their enforcer, pacer Ebadot Hossain off the field and skipper Shakib Al Hasan not bowling at all in the second essay.
India ended the session with Gill batting on 80 and Cheteshwar Pujara on 33. The visitors were chugging along at 140-1 at tea on the third day, brutally expanding on their first-innings 404 after electing not to enforce the follow-on.
In the session: 24 overs, 104 runs, 1 wicket
Post tea session:
Gill and Pujara were scoring at a steady pace as it is but as the former neared his century, he began to change gears. The youngster went over mid-on when the fielder was brought in, to get to his much-awaited landmark moment in Test cricket with a superb lofted shot for four. He celebrated the moment taking a bow towards his teammates in the dressing room.
After he reached the milestone, registering his first Test century, the message seemed to be clear. Pujara too turned on his attacking instincts and took the already depleted Bangladesh attack head-on. Although the same attacking approach proved to be Gill’s undoing, the damage was done and India head taken a lead well over 450 runs.
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As Virat Kohli joined a well-set Pujara in the middle, the two made quick work of the runs and aimed to set up a lead intimidating big enough to declare, with more than two days still to go in the match. In the process, Pujara also broke his century drought to register his nineteenth hundred. It came after 52 innings and nearly four years of waiting. What followed was a flow of several heartwarming reactions. It was a bit of a roller coaster year for him, having been dropped from the home series against Sri Lanka, his memorable outing in country cricket to the comeback in the team. It can be safely said that the reactions were well justified.
Cometh Pujara’s century, cometh the declaration from India. A massive 512-run lead, riding on the back of two centurions, two days to go and a bowling line-up high on confidence... India were in it to win it.
Bangladesh’s opening duo of Zakir Hassan and Najmul Hossain Shanto did well to navigate the tricky period before stumps without losing a wicket and capitalising on the now-easy batting conditions. The hosts would be hoping to continue to survive and pose a resilient front on day four.
In the session: India: 118 runs, 1 wickets, 22.4 overs Bangladesh: 12 overs, 42 runs, 0 wickets