The tide could turn. There could be a twist in the tale. There was still a possibility. Or at least that’s what it seemed for the first few few hours of the day. If one was to remember the first Test between Bangladesh and West Indies at the same venue in 2021, you couldn’t really rule it out.
But after being placed on the back foot with the hosts being 119/0 at lunch, India roared back to take six wickets in the remainder of the day and inch closer to victory.
While debutant Zakir Hasan played a knock to remember for Bangladesh, bringing up a century in his first Test, it was Axar Patel’s performance in the fourth innings that may well prove to be a match-winning one. He picked up 3/50 on a deck that had flattened out significantly, often producing sharp turn.
The Bangladesh resilience continued to be on display at stumps on Day 4, with their score being 272/6 in 102 overs. With a 241-run deficit still facing the hosts and an entire day of play remaining with just four wickets to take, the advantage lies with India.
Here’s a look at the session-wise recap of Day 4:
Thanks to a resilient fightback from Najmul Hossain Shanto and Zakir Hasan, India headed into lunch wondering how to deal with an unbroken 119-run opening partnership. It was the first-ever 100-plus opening stand for Bangladesh against India in this format, with both the batters having registered their respective fifties. When batting wasn’t as easy as it was touted to be on Day 1 of the Test, it was clear that the Chattogram pitch would indeed flatten out over the days. And that is exactly what has happened. On Day 4 of the Test match, India were able to find the edges on several occasions, thanks to the turn and bounce still on offer, but batting was much easier.
The wickets were not coming India’s way but Mohammad Siraj tried the mind games that brought him success against Litton Das in the first innings again. This time, with Shanto. If the game does progress into a position where all three results are possible, battles like these can only add to the drama.
This session truly belonged to the hosts. With five sessions to go and 394 runs needed, Bangladesh were aware they needed a lot of resolve and grit to brave this out. But the 10 wickets still intact was an advantage. They were on track to see out the day.
In the session: 30 overs, 77 runs, 0 wickets
This was the session that saw India crawl back into the game again. With India picking up three wickets, what felt like a deadlock was at least broken. The visitors had made sure to dent the scoring rate but Umesh Yadav dismissed Shanto to end the record-breaking 124-run opening partnership. It wasn’t to be nearly, as Virat Kohli missed the edge and reacted late, but he had done enough to parry it back to Rishabh Pant to take a juggling catch. The wicketkeeper had a solid outing behind the stumps.
That was followed by Axar Patel dismissing Yasir Ali. But then rock-solid Zakir combined with Litton Das to brave out most of the session before Kuldeep Yadav removed the latter for 19.
Even as Yasir and Litton fell, Zakir marched on. India fought back but Bangladesh were not making it easy. At tea, the hosts were 176/3 with Zakir Hasan unbeaten on 82 alongside Mushfiqur Rahim who was not out on 2.
In the session: 29 overs, 57 runs, 3 wickets.
Zakir Hasan, batting on debut, showed incredible tenacity to reach his first century in 219 deliveries in the final session. Although he lost his batting partners earlier, he put up a brave front, often going after the previous innings’ star Kuldeep Yadav. However, Ashwin Ravichandran ended his stay moments after he reached his hundred to get his first wicket of the match.
After that, it was a solid performance by Axar Patel with the new ball that saw Mushfiqur Rahim’s stay at the crease end for 23. An absolute peach from around the wicket dismissed the key batter bowled. Nurul Hasan, too, fell prey to him thanks to an incredible stumping by Pant.
However, just when it looked like India could end up wrapping this up today itself, another streak of the Bangladesh resilience reared its head. Captain Shakib Al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan Miraz continued to strategically see off Kuldeep and Axar’s overs at the end of day’s play and drag the game into the final day. The hosts finished Day 4 with 272/6 and need 241 runs to win. India, on the other hand, need just four wickets.
In this session: 31 overs, 96 runs, 3 wickets