::People’s Time Online::
Ravindra Jadeja’s relentless accuracy and Ishant Sharma’s reverse swing ensured India dismissed Bangladesh for 250 in an improbable chase of 459 and secured a 208-run victory in Hyderabad, extending their undefeated streak to 19 Tests.
Bangladesh’s major source of resistance on the fifth day came via a Jekyll-and-Hyde 56-run stand between Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah, who made his first fifty since July 2015. Facing a target of 481 – 22 more than Bangladesh were set in Hyderabad – South Africa tried to block their way out to a draw in Delhi in 2015 but couldn’t. Chasing 475 in Indore last year, New Zealand attacked and collapsed dramatically. Bangladesh did a bit of both to play out 100.3 overs, and had lasted 127.5 in the first innings as well. Though they couldn’t win their first Test in India, they did bat more than 100 overs twice in a match for a sixth time.
Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah showed sound judgement outside the off stump against the seamers but took on the spinners, sometimes at great risk. Mushfiqur charged at Ashwin’s second ball of the day – a non-turning offbreak – to cover drive a boundary all along the ground. Two balls later, he used his feet again, but hit over the top against the break to hole out to wide mid-off. While it is understandable that the Bangladesh captain wanted to upset India’s best bowler, he might just have taken it too far. Mushfiqur exposed the inexperienced lower-middle order to the opposition and added to the list of inglorious Bangladesh dismissals in the recent past.
Ishant Sharma pinned Sabbir lbw for 22 in the fourth over after lunch. Mahmudullah, who had sent Jadeja over the top for back-to-back fours, continued to live dangerously against spin. But it was pace that undid him. Ishant tucked him up with a chest-high short ball on the leg stump and forced a top-edged pull to long leg.
Mehedi Hasan and Kamrul Islam Rabbi saw off the second new ball with a partnership of 17 in 85 balls, but the re-introduction of Jadeja produced the breakthrough. He found extra bounce and turn to glance off Mehedi’s glove and into Wriddhiman Saha’s. Taijul skied a top-edge and was caught at short leg though both KL Rahul and M Vijay went for it with neither one backing out.
Ashwin completed formalities in bizarre fashion as the tea break was postponed. His slider beat No.11 Taskin Ahmed and India appealed, presumably for lbw. Umpire Marais Erasmus went across to his partner Joel Wilson and brought the third umpire into play to check for a bat-pad catch. The replay showed the ball had clearly spun past the inside edge, but Virat Kohli went for a DRS review that confirmed the lbw.
Ashwin bowled only 14.3 overs on the last day as opposed to Jadeja who wheeled away for 29 overs and nearly bagged his second successive five-wicket haul in the second innings. Like a popgun, he kept firing into the rough in an interrupted spell this morning. His 14-6-31-1 included the wicket of Shakib Al Hasan, which summed up the enormity of negotiating a deteriorating fifth-day track in India. Jadeja got one to explode from the rough outside off, graze the top glove of Shakib and loop to Cheteshwar Pujara at short leg. Jadeja celebrated, sticking his tongue out and flashing a naughty little smile. It would only grow as the day wore on.