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Tigers fail to seize golden opportunity

  • Samsul Arefin Khan
  • 26 December, 2022 12:00 AM
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Tigers fail to seize golden opportunity

Bangladesh missed out on a golden opportunity to beat India for the first time in a Test after they lost the second game of the two-match series by three wickets on the fourth day at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Sunday.

The Tigers had only themselves to blame for the narrow defeat as they reduced India to 74-7 on the penultimate day morning to raise the prospect of winning the game while defending a target of 145 runs against the visitors.

However, Ravichandran Ashwin struck an unbeaten 42 off 62 balls while Shreyas Iyer made 29 not out as the pair put up a partnership of 71 runs for the eighth wicket stand to take their side home, 145-7, and also confirm a 2-0 series win over the Tigers.

Bangladesh had a big chance to dismiss Ashwin on one but Mominul Haque failed to take a regulatory catch at short-leg of Mehidy Hasan Miraz’s bowling, who finished with 5-63 in the second innings, and afterwards, the hosts were unable to create any kind of opportunity in the middle.

The win also helped India keep alive their chances of playing in the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23 final as they increased their win percentage to 58.93.

They are currently placed only after Australia who have an overwhelming percentage of 76.92 in this edition, in the nine-team competition.          Bangladesh could not expect a better start on the day as skipper Shakib Al Hasan trapped nightwatchman Jaydev Unadkat (13) in the second over after India resumed an overnight score of 45-4.

Mehidy then weaved his spin magic and removed dangerman Rishabh Pant (nine) while he bowled Axar Patel (34) in his next over to complete his ninth five-wicket haul in the longer format.

The three quick dismissals put Bangladesh on top over India, who still required 71 runs to win with only three wickets in their hands.

Ashwin, who received a lucky reprieve at the start of his innings, alongside Iyer took a different approach and they soon came out of their shells and demonstrated an aggressive nature of the play to frustrate Bangladeshi bowlers.

The hosts’ bowlers added more miseries to that wound by bowling some loose deliveries to release the pressure on the Indian batsmen as the visitors completed the victory within the first session of the fourth day.

Ashwin was named player of the match for his match-winning knock in the last innings and for taking six wickets overall in the match.

Cheteshwar Pujara was adjudged player of the series for scoring 222 runs in two Tests with an average of 74.

Bangladesh earlier made 227 runs in their first innings of the Test before India scored 314 runs to take an 87-run lead. The Tigers later made 231 runs in their second innings to set a below-par target that they came too close to defending but failed in the end.