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India crush Bangladesh by an innings and 239 runs
Harish Kotian in Dhaka | May 27, 2007 12:18 IST
Last Updated: May 27, 2007 17:08 IST
Inspired by Zaheer Khan's brilliant bowling and centuries from their top four batsmen, India crushed Bangladesh by an innings and 239 runs on Day 3 of the second and final Test, at the Sher-e-Bangla National stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka, on Sunday.
The victory saw India clinch the two-Test series 1-0, after the match in Chittagong was drawn.
Following-on, Bangladesh folded for 253 in 57.3 overs in their second innings and registered their 40th Test defeat in 46 matches.
Vice-captain Mohammad Ashraful played a delightful innings of 67 from 41 deliveries, hitting 12 boundaries and two sixes, and Mashrafe Mortaza also entertained with a blazing knock of 70 from 68 deliveries, inclusive of eight boundaries and three sixes, but those efforts could not save the home side from a humiliating defeat.
Earlier in the morning, Bangladesh were bowled out for 118 in their first innings after a brilliant spell of five wickets for 34 runs from Zaheer.
India had amassed 610 for 3 declared in their first innings, courtesy centuries from Wasim Jaffer (138), Dinesh Karthik (129), Rahul Dravid (129) and Sachin Tendulkar (122 not out).
Morning session: (23.2 overs , 70 runs, 6 wickets)
India struck early on the third day, when Zaheer Khan got the wicket of Saqibul Hasan off the second delivery of the morning. The left-hander scored 30, before he was trapped leg before wicket to an incoming delivery.
R P Singh also bowled with a lot of heart to give Zaheer good support.
The two pacers bowled a short spell of four overs each before giving way to Ishant Sharma and Anil Kumble.
It was the veteran leg-spinner who struck in his first over, when he trapped Mohammad Sharif leg before wicket for 13. The batsman was struck on the pads as he attempted to play Kumble from the crease and was caught right in front of the stumps.
Out walked the hero of Bangladesh cricket, Mashrafe Mortaza, to a huge cheer from the crowd. He faced a similar crisis in the first innings of the first Test in Chittagong, when Bangladesh were reduced to 149 for 8. Then he rescued the hosts with a brilliant half-century and it remained to be seen whether he could do it again.
But young Ishant Sharma also joined the party as he got Mortaza, his first strike in international cricket, with the second ball of his sixth over. Mortaza tried to cut, but failed to keep the ball on the ground, giving a straightforward catch to Kumble at gully.
Sharma looked towards the heavens for a brief moment as if to thank the Almighty for the wicket.
Bangladesh were reduced to 93 for 8 and it just remained to be seen how long they would last. Not surprisingly, the attendance was pretty low as people preferred not to watch their team go down so tamely.
Zaheer returned for a third spell and this time, like his previous two spells, struck in the very first over.
Another incoming delivery accounted for the wicket of Mohammad Rafique. The left-hander attempted to drive through the off-side but failed to connect as the ball crashed through his defences and onto the stumps. The wicket also completed the five-wicket haul for Zaheer, his fourth in Tests.
Kumble then completed the formalities when he claimed the final wicket of Khaled Mashud. The veteran wicketkeeper was caught behind for 25 as Bangladesh folded for 118 in 37.2 overs.
India had no hesitation in asking the hosts to follow-on after they finished 492 runs in deficit in the first innings.
For Bangladesh, the top scorer was Saqibul Hasan with 30. Khaled Mashud (25) and Rajin Saleh (20) were the only other batsmen to cross the 20-run mark.
India's bowling figures was one to savour. Zaheer topped the bowling charts, claiming 5 for 34 in his 10 overs. Kumble proved his worth yet again, taking 3 for 32 in 9.2 overs.
Debutant Ishant Sharma also impressed with his pace and control as he took 1 for 19 in 7 overs. R P Singh, who bowled a probing opening spell, claimed 1 for 28 in 9 overs.
It remains to be seen if Bangladesh can come up with an improved showing the second innings. 118 is not a score you would expect a home team to score on a pitch where the opposition had amassed 600 runs batting first.
Of course, they are playing Test cricket after a gap of 13 months, but with performances like this they are ensuring that they don't deserve to get matches frequently.
Bangladesh second innings:
The start could not have been worse for Bangladesh as they lost a wicket off the first ball again. Javed Omar, who fell to the first ball of the first innings, once again faced the same fate. He fell caught behind to Zaheer. Television replays indicated that he did not get a touch to the ball, but umpire Daryl Harper thought otherwise.
It was Zaheer's sixth wicket of the match. Interestingly, in all the four spells the left-arm pacer bowled in the match, he claimed a wicket in the first over.
Only just two overs were bowled in the second innings as Bangladesh went for lunch at 10 for 1.
Shahriar Nafees was unbeaten on 4, with captain Habibul Bashar at the other end on 4.
The two batsmen have their task cut out after the break. Their only aim should be to bat as long as possible and just forget the match situation. A repeat of the first innings collapse and the match could well be over today.
Post-Lunch session: (28 overs, 137 runs, 4 wickets)
The first-over-strike worked yet again for Zaheer, this time after lunch.
Habibul Bashar obliged India yet again when he played a reckless pull shot, only to lob a simple catch to Dravid at mid-on. The Bangladesh captain scored 5 from 12 deliveries, before deciding to take on the bowlers, a puzzling tactic considering the plight of his team.
In the next over, R P Singh inflicted further misery on the hosts, claiming the wicket of Shahriar Nafees. The left-hander tried to run down a short delivery towards the fine leg region, but could only manage an edge, which was neatly taken by wicketkeeper Dhoni, diving full length to his right.
Bangladesh were reduced to 10 for 3 in just the fourth over and a repeat of the first innings collapse seemed a real possibility now.
Mohammad Ashraful started off in the way he knows the best and took on the bowlers. He blasted Zaheer for two boundaries through the covers to make a statement that Bangladesh would not go down without a fight. His full blooded pull shot against R P Singh in the eighth over of the innings were a delight. Two boundaries followed in the over � the first one a lofted shot square of the off-side and then a straight lofted shot down the ground as he raced to 32 from 20 balls, having already hit six boundaries and a six.
It was a welcome change for home fans after the gloom on the first three days.
If you thought that was good, better things were to follow. Zaheer was again under the hammer as the 22-year-old Ashraful got stuck into a shorter delivery and launched it high over the boundary ropes to follow up on the lofted shot through the covers off the previous delivery.
Youngster Ishant Sharma was welcomed to the crease in the second innings with a crisp straight boundary from Ashraful that screamed past the bowler, who took a tumble on his follow through. The next, he blasted the 18-year-old through the covers to bring up his half-century in just 26 deliveries, including nine boundaries and two sixes.
It was the first real test as far as Sharma's bowling was concerned. As we have witnessed in the past too, Ashraful in full flight is as good and dangerous as any top batsman in the world.
Ashraful smashed another straight boundary as Bangladesh raced to 76 for 3 in 10 overs. It was turning out to be a real entertaining session, with 66 runs coming in the first eight overs after the lunch break.
Anil Kumble wasn't spared either as he dispatched him to the cover boundary off the first ball he faced from the ace leggie in the second innings. He repeated the dose in Kumble's next over, 13th of the innings, and the ball went screaming to the cover boundary.
But then Kumble's experience of 115 Test matches showed, as he scalped the free-flowing batsman.
The right-hander tried to hit Kumble through the leg-side but only managed to send the ball straight to Tendulkar at mid-wicket.
It brought an end to one of the most entertaining knocks in recent times.
Ashraful smashed 12 boundaries and two sixes in his 41-ball whirlwind knock off 67. He added 81 runs in 59 balls for the fourth wicket with Rajin Saleh, but the latter's contribution was a mere 10 runs.
It remained to be seen whether the rest of the batsmen could also stand up and produce a spirited display and look to defy the end a little big longer.
After the departure of Ashraful, Saleh took over the mantle of trying to attack the bowlers, though without the same impact. He was severe on Kumble, whom he smashed for six boundaries in 19 balls while racing to 40 from 42 deliveries as Bangladesh reached 129 for 4 in 19 overs.
Ramesh Powar also joined the 'first-over-strike' club when he got the wicket of Saleh in his first over in the second innings.
Saleh hit the off-spinner straight to Sourav Ganguly on the mid-wicket fence and was dismissed for 42. He was lucky earlier when Ishant Sharma, running back from mid-off, failed to hold on to a difficult chance.
At the tea break, Bangladesh reached 147 for 5 in 30 overs, still needing another 345 runs to make India bat again.
Saqibul Hasan was unbeaten on 13, with Khaled Mashud not out on 6 at the other end.
Zaheer was India's best bowler in the session, claiming 2 for 35 in 5 overs till he took some hammering from Ashrauful like all the other bowlers.
It was Test cricket at its entertaining best as a young Ashraful counter attacked in style till he came apart against Kumble's experience. India must now be hoping to claim the remaining wickets in the last session and wrap the match today itself. There is not only the incentive of returning home soon but the weather is also quite unpredictable here.
Post-Tea session: (27.3 overs, 106 runs, 5 wickets)
It did not take long for India to strike after the tea break. They got a wicket in the fourth over when Powar dismissed Saqibul Hasan in the typical off-spinner mode. He pitched on the rough outside the off-stump, the ball spun a bit and took the edge straight to Dravid at first slip.
Bangladesh were reduced to 150 for 6 and Mashrafe Mortaza walked out to bat to a loud cheer for the second time in the day.
Powar then claimed his third victim in the next over when he accounted for Khaled Mashud. The Bangladesh wicketkeeper was caught at midwicket as he tried to drive the off-spinner through the leg side. Bangladesh were on the brink of humiliation at 154 for 7 in the 36th over.
Ishant Sharma then had a chance to claim the wicket of Mortaza for the second time in the day, but Dravid at mid-on failed to hold on to the simple catch.
Mortaza, who was on 19 then, prospered and grew in confidence. He unleashed his shots, including a huge six off Powar.
But wickets kept falling at the other end, as Mohammad Sharif became Kumble's second victim of the innings. The right-hander failed to read the googly as he tried to drive and the ball came off the inside half of the bat straight back to the bowler.
Mohammad Rafique missed a full toss from part-timer Sachin Tendulkar and was ruled out leg before wicket for 11 as Bangladesh slipped to 223 for 9.
Mortaza continued his good run with the bat as he registered his second successive half-century of the series. He had rescued Bangladesh with a fine knock of 77 in the first Test at Chittagong but here the task was too steep.
However, his intelligent batting was a lesson for some of the top order batsmen and, maybe, there could also be a case for promoting him up the order in future.
He also provided some entertainment late in the day before becoming the final man to fall, dismissed for 70 as Bangladesh were bowled out for 253 in 57.3 overs. India won by an innings and 239 runs.
Mortaza once again impressed with the bat, hitting eight boundaries and three sixes in his 68-ball knock.
Tendulkar claimed the last wicket and finished with 2 for 35 from 6.3 overs. Ramesh Powar was the most successful bowler in the second innings with a haul of 3 for 33 in 16 overs.
Zaheer took 2 for 54 to follow up on his 5 for 34 in the first innings for a match haul of 7 wickets for 88 runs.
India dominated all the way after they were sent in to bat by Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar. Once they amassed 610 for 3 declared in their first innings, it was always going to be difficult for the hosts.
This was Bangladesh's 40th loss in 46 matches since being inducted to the longer version of the game in 2000-01. 25 of those losses have been by an innings margin, giving enough proof of the fact that they are still minnows in Tests even though their ODI record has improved recently.
Their lone victory in Test cricket came against Zimbabwe, when they beat them by 226 runs in Chittagong in January 2005.
For India, the thumping victory must have come as a huge relief. Winning both the ODI and Test series could erase some disappointment of the dismal showing at the World Cup, though their real test will come next month when they tour England.
Complete Coverage - India's tour of Bangladesh 2007