INDIA SET THE TARGET OF 459 TO WIN FOR BANGLADESH
India have set Bangladesh 459 to win the one-off Test in Hyderabad on Sunday (February 12). The hosts scored runs at a rapid rate post-lunch on the fourth day and declared at the Tea break after the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane came up with some useful cameos.
Bangladesh began with pace at one end and spin at the other post-lunch and it was Taskin Ahmed who did the damage early on. After clipping Taijul Islam for a boundary over midwicket, Vijay fell in the next over while attempting to cut a ball that was bowled short and wide. Pujara showed intent right from the start when he stepped down the track to drive through cover to pick up his first boundary.
KL Rahul though fell in the next over in a fashion similar to Vijay’s. Taskin bowled another delivery short and wide only for the batsman to poke it behind to Mushfiqur Rahim. The skipper Kohli then joined forces with Pujara and the pair showed no signs of slowing down. Even though they took some calculated risks initially for the boundaries, the runs kept flowing with some quick singles and twos.
Both the batsmen used the pace of the spinner to play some late cuts deliberately towards the third man region to pick up boundaries. With the run rate climbing over five, Mushfiqur finally made a change in the bowling attack by introducing Shakib Al Hasan. The move made sense with India batting with a limited-overs approach. Taskin was given another over, though at the other end, and his short ball strategy was blunted by the two batsmen. First Kohli slapped one to the cover boundary and later in the over, Pujara pulled one for a six to bring up the half-century stand off just 50 balls.
By this time, India’s lead had swelled past 375. Kohli then stepped down the track to Shakib to whip him for a six towards deep midwicket but fell two balls later while attempting a similar shot. This time, Mahmudullah took a decent catch at midwicket to send the Indian skipper back for a 40-ball 38. The boundaries had then dried up for almost four overs before Rahane pulled one through square leg to take the lead past 400.
Rahane then hit a four and a six off back-to-back overs before losing his stumps to Shakib while attempting another heave. India then promoted Ravindra Jadeja above Wriddhiman Saha and Ravichandran Ashwin in search of some quick runs and the allrounder responded with a four and a six in the same over. The first boundary though should have resulted in his downfall as a simple catch was misjudged at deep midwicket. Pujara then found the boundary a couple of more times to reach his half-century just before Tea.
Earlier in the day, India squeezed a massive 299-run lead by bowling out the visitors for 388 in their first essay despite Mushfiqur’s 127.
With exactly four sessions to go, India will fancy their chances of winning the game.