In Stats: Bangladesh’s Fightback Against Indian Bowlers on Day 3
Bangladesh added 281 runs on day three but are still 365 runs adrift of India’s first innings total.
Bangladesh put up stubborn resistance on day three of their one-off Test match against India. The visitors began the day at 41-1 in reply to India’s mammoth first innings total of 687-6. They added 281 runs in the day to eventually finish the day at 322-6.
The visitors had a poor start to the day. Opener Tamim Iqbal was run out attempting what should have been a straightforward second run if not for a stutter soon after turning for the second run. Subsequently, the visitors lost two more top-order wickets to slip to 109-4. Then came the fight back – through a partnership between two players who have been a pillar for Bangladesh over the years. Shakib-al-Hasan, batting at five, and captain Mushfiqur Rahim, batting at six, combined to deny the Indian bowlers any further success immediately.
The fifth wicket partnership lasted for nearly 28 overs, during which the pair added 107 runs. Mushfiqur Rahim was circumspect and played well within himself, while Shakib-al-Hasan flourished at the other end.
While Mushfiqur was happy to rotate the strike and struck up the occasional boundary, Shakib-al-Hasan scored in a contrasting fashion, preferring to deal in boundaries. Off the 59 runs Shakib contributed to the partnership, 40 runs came through boundaries.
Shakib-al-Hasan, who had had a woeful record in Test matches against India previously, survived some testing times early on and looked good for another Test match hundred. But one reckless stroke brought about his dismissal. The left-hander walked down the track and attempted to hit R Ashwin over the top of mid on, but only managed to spoon a catch to the fielder there. Shakib was dismissed for a well-made 82, made from 103 balls.
Mushfiqur Rahim, who on the other hand appears to relish playing against India, carried on right through to the end of the day. The Bangladesh captain started cautiously – left plenty of deliveries early on, choosing to put bat to ball only if absolutely necessary. In fact, in the 34 minutes he batted before lunch, he allowed more than a third of the deliveries he faced to sail through to the wicket-keeper’s gloves. In the afternoon session, he was fluent; he put bat to ball more often, switched gears and scored the quickest he did through the day.
After losing Shakib-al-Hasan and Sabbir Rahman in quick succession, Mushfiqur Rahim combined with teenager Mehedi Hasan Miraz added 87 runs to carry their team through to stumps. Bangladesh finished the day at 322-6 – still 365 adrift of India’s first innings total.
India picked up five wickets on the day. But numbers aren’t an honest reflection of how well the bowlers bowled on the day. Particularly in case of Umesh Yadav, who created several chances, but had to be content with just one wicket on the day.
The pacer from Nagpur was sensational; he bowled with an upright seam, was quick through the air, got the ball to skid off the surface, and most importantly bowled disciplined lines. Not to forget, he also troubled the batsmen with reverse swing.
Umesh Yadav created chances nearly a third of the overs he bowled on Day III; that means drawing a batsman to play a false stroke – beating the bat, finding the edge or hitting the pad – twice every over.
In his first spell of day three, Umesh found the edge or beat the bat on six occasions in three overs. But after changing ends, Umesh turned lethal; he bowled six overs in that second spell, and landed deliveries that beat the bat or found the edge on as many as 17 times – that is more than half the deliveries he bowled in that spell.
India will need plenty of such fiery and testing spells from their bowlers on the remaining two days of this Test if they are to force a win.
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