Virat Kohli conjured up a classic hundred in his first tryst with the pink ball while a lethal Ishant Sharma tormented Bangladesh batsmen yet again to push India towards victory in their maiden day/night Test, here on Saturday.
Mostly offering a straight bat to dispatch the swinging pink cherry in the V region, Kohli became the first Indian to score a hundred in a day/night Test, treating the fans with a 136-run knock after starting the day at overnight 59.
His deputy Ajinkya Rahane (51) too looked in good touch, striking his fourth successive half-century as India declared their first innings at 347 for nine for a massive 241-run lead.
Bangladesh, who were shot out for 106 in their first essay, were reduced to 13 for four at one stage but the visitors ended the second day at 152 for six, courtesy a combative half-century from Mushfiqur Rahim (59 batting) and Mahmudullah, who retired hurt after scoring 39.
Mushfiqur smashed 10 fours in his counter-attacking knock as the visitors looked relieved when the Indian pacers struggled to handle heavy dew towards the end. They still trail by 89 runs and need a miracle to save the match.
On 59, Mushfiqur successfully reviewed an lbw decision given by Marais Erasmus as the ball deflected from his glove before hitting the pad.
Mahmudullah matched the senior pro but had to walk off due to a hamstring issue after they added 69 runs for the fourth wicket.
Paceman Ishant, who took a five-for in the first innings, blew away the top-order with a three-wicket burst and later added wicket of Mehidy Hasan to be one wicket away from his second 10-wicket haul in a Test match.
Umesh Yadav dismissed Taijul Islam (11) with a short ball in the last over of the day. Ashwin was introduced for the first time in the match and he almost gave a breakthrough in his fourth ball but Rahane dropped Mehidy Hasan at the slip.
Mohammed Mithun became the third Bangladeshi player to be hit on his head when he failed to duck an Ishant bouncer. Already two of their batsmen (Liton Das and Nayeem Hasan) were hit by Mohammed Shami bouncers in the first innings and were replaced according to the concussion protocol.
India started off the second innings with an intimidating slip cordon in four slips and a gully. Ishant gave the breakthrough in the fifth ball, trapping Shadman Islam before Bangladesh could open their account.
The gangly paceman returned and sent by rival skipper Mominul Haque, who edged one behind without bothering the scorer.
Earlier, resuming at 59, skipper Kohli looked at his sublime best as he brought up his 27th Test century. He pushed Taijul Islam for a double in the square leg region to bring up his hundred.
Rahane was done in by some extra bounce as he top-edged a Taijul delivery to be holed out at point. But Kohli, who had become the first Indian skipper to go past the 5000-run mark in the longest format, grew from strength to strength en route to his 70th International hundred.
Kohli hit top gear after his hundred, smashing Bangladeshi pacer Abu Jayed for four successive boundaries. His knock, which had 18 boundaries, ended when Taijul threw himself to his right to pluck a catch out of thin air.
Pink ball visibility is easier than red: Ganguly
Visibility may have been one of the talking points in the run-up to the first Day/Night Test in India but BCCI president Sourav Ganguly feels sighting the pink ball is “easier” than the red cherry.
There had been plenty of talks around the heavily-lacquered ball especially during the twilight hours. Asked about visibility, the former India captain said: “It’s actually easier than the red ball.”
No Eden entry for Shakib
He is one of the biggest stars to have played for Bangladesh, but as fate would have it, Shakib-al-Hasan despite being in the city cannot be seen anywhere near the historic Eden Gardens which is hosting India and Bangladesh for their maiden pink ball Test.
Banned for failing to report an approach by a bookie, Shakib cannot be seen anywhere at the venue or in any official meeting or function organised around the Test.
Sources aware of the anti-corruption rules of the ICC said that while Shakib can be present in the same city at the time of Bangladesh playing a game, he cannot be seen at the stadium or in any official meeting or function.
“He can be in Kolkata at the time of the game, that is not an issue, but he cannot come to the stadium.
As per rules, he cannot attend any official meeting or function either.
This will then work against him and action will be taken by the world body for failure to adhere to the rules and regulations that come with being banned,” the source explained.
Asked if that means he cannot meet any player either, the source clarified that individual meetings at some restaurant or team hotel aren’t an issue.
Pant, Gill released to play Mushtaq Ali
The Indian selection committee has decided to release Rishabh Pant and Shubman Gill from the Test squad to get some match time in domestic cricket ahead of the limited overs series against the West Indies next month.
Andhra keeper-batsman Kona Shrikar Bharat will join the Indian team as Wriddhiman Saha’s cover for the remainder of the second and final Test.
“Rishabh will be playing all the six matches (3 T20s and 3 ODIs) against the West Indies. The selectors thought it’s only prudent that he goes and plays in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for Delhi,” a senior BCCI source said.
Rishabh will now be available for Delhi’s next two Super League matches, against Haryana and Rajasthan today and November 27 respectively, and also for the semi-finals and final if Delhi manage to make it that far.
Shubman, on the other hand, will be playing for Punjab in their next two Super League games against Karnataka (today) and Tamil Nadu (november 25).
Bharat, who has been a regular feature for India A in red ball matches finally got some consolation for his consistent performances during the last two seasons.
Kohli equals Punter’s record
Adding another feather to his illustrious cap, Virat Kohli on Saturday equalled Australian great Ricky Ponting’s record of 41 international centuries as captain.
Kohli brought up his 70th overall ton and 27th Test century with a brace off Taijul Islam in the 68th over.
With the century, Kohli’s 20th as India captain in Tests, the talismanic batsman also surpassed Ponting’s tally of 19 Test tons as skipper.
Only former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith has more centuries than Kohli with 25 tons to his name as captain.
Sunday, 24 November 2019 | PTI | kolkata
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