No respite for Bangladesh

The second day of the 2nd Test in Mirpur saw no respite for Bangladesh as India piled on the runs and decimated Bangladesh’s top order.

Day one was a horrendous day for Bangladesh, failing to pick up a single wicket in the heat and humidity as the Indian batsmen scored at will, accumulating 326 runs for no loss throughout the day. It was an impressive feat that was to be continued well into the second day when early on captain Rahul Dravid scored the required 12 runs to bring up his 24th Test century.

India started off the day in fine style, at a fast pace and looking to up the ante. When Dravid finally fell at 0/408, bringing the 127 run partnership with Tendulkar to an end, it was tantalisingly close to the all time record for most runs with out a loss of wicket, 413 runs set over 50 years ago.

Dravid, who was eventually out from an edge to point whilst trying to drive, reaffirmed why he is one of the best batsman in the world, with a stylish and elegant innings. At the other end, somewhat quietly and unassumingly, one of the all time greats, Tendulkar, had just notched up another 50.

Karthik, who retired hurt the previous day on 82, returned to the crease and had his century on the last ball before lunch, his maiden ton.

Karthik kept the runs flowing after lunch, but was finally out shortly after on 129, the same score as his captain, when a failed attempt at a pull shot saw the ball edged to Habibul Bashar at midwicket. Mashrafe Mortaza doing the damage with the ball and creating the breakthrough with a shorter ball.

Sourav Ganguly, coming off a century in his last Test came to the crease and the momentum slowly shifted away from the India as the two batsmen became overly defensive with the run rate dropping rapidly. This culminated in Ganguly losing his wicket when he hit the ball straight to Rajin Saleh, off the bowling of Mohammad Rafique.

If Bangladesh thought things were finally starting to go their way, they were sadly mistaken when next man in, the swashbuckling Mahendra Singh Dhoni, entered the crease.

An innings filled with daring and explosive shots, including three sixes off a Mohammad Rafique over, Dhoni raced to a run a ball 50 in minimal time, taking the Indian score to a magnificent and overpowering 3/610 before captain Rahul Dravid decided to put an end to Bangladesh’s misery and declare.

A little earlier, Tendulkar had added another milestone to his incredible career, a 37th Test century, his second in consecutive Tests and one that will surely silence the critics for now. With his hundred, India become the first ever team to have their top four batsman all score centuries in the same innings, a brilliant achievement.

It was the stuff of nightmares for the Bangladeshi bowlers though, toiling in the heat and humidity, none of the bowling figures make for pretty reading. Mashrafe Mortaza, 1/100. Syed Rasel 0/109. Mohammad Sharif 0/109 and the veteran Mohammad Rafique 2/181, from his laborious 45 overs.

Things went from bad to worse for Bangladesh however, as they began the daunting task of trying to salvage the match, when four wickets fell in the first three overs.

The collapse began with the first ball of innings when Zaheer Kahn had Javed Omar edged to third slip and India were off to the perfect start.

Omar’s replacement, captain Habibul Bashar was out the very next over when RP Singh had him caught behind to a fantastic delivery. If that wasn’t bad enough, the next over was a disastrous one for Bangladesh as both Shahriar Nafees and Mohammad Ashraful were out to successive deliveries from the on fire Zaheer. Nafees was comprehensively bowled and Ashraful plumb LBW in an over of pure magic from the fast bowler. Four wickets gone in the first three overs and the Bangladesh batting line-up was in tatters.

Things could have been worse though, with three drops from an at times lacklustre Indian fielding outfit.

Ten overs in and Dravid threw the ball to his ever-reliable spin bowler Anil Kumble who immediately struck in his first over, dismissing Rajin Saleh and leaving the Bangladesh reeling at 5/40.

At the end of day two, Bangladesh were a pitiful 5/85 in response to India’s massive 610 first innings total. It will take a superhuman effort for Bangladesh to even think about saving this game with India only needing 15 wickets in the next three days to ensure a series victory.

India 3-610 dec
Wasim Jaffer 138, Dinesh Karthik 129, Rahul Dravid 129, Sachin Tendulkar 122*
Mohammad Rafique 2-181, Mashrafe Mortaza 1-100

Bangladesh 5-58
Shakib Al Hasan 30*, Rajin Saleh 20
Zaheer Khan 3-20, Anil Kumble 1-13, RP Singh 1-19

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