Bangladesh -India Day Night Pink Ball Test Match at Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Brief Score Card at Stumps Day Two:
Bangladesh: 1st Innings 106 all out in 33.3 overs (Shadman Islam 29, Liton K Das 24, Naeem Hasan 19, Ishant Sharma 5/22, Umesh Yadav 3/29, Mohammad Shami 2/36) and Second Innings 152/6 in 32.3 Overs (Mushfiqur Rahim 59* , Mahmudullah Riad retired hurt 39, Ishant Sharma 4/39, Umesh Yadav 2/40), India 347/9 (Virat Kohli 136, Cheteswar Pujara 56, Ajinka Rahane 51 , Rohit Sharma 21, Al Amin Hossain 3/85, Ebadat Hossain 3/91, Abu Jayed 2/77, Taijul Islam 1/80).
Bangladesh after day two is trailing behind 89 runs with 4 wickets at hand.
A desperate counter attacking partnership between two M’s Mushfique and Mahmudullah rescued Bangladesh from tasting the ignominy of two days innings defeat at pink ball day night test at Eden Gardens Kolkata. Asked to bat a second time on the second afternoon with a deficit of 243 runs in the first innings, Bangladesh top order in no time was blown away huffing and puffing for survival at 13/4 by the 7th over. Shadman was gone in the very first over scoring nothing, Mominul had bitten the dust earning a dreaded pair. Kayes and Mithun scored 5 and 6respectively. Ishant was breathing fire. Bangladesh still had to survive more than 30 overs at that stage to take the test to the third day. Mushfique and Mahmudullah had their backs to the wall. It was a do or die situation and the pair did not die wondering. Suddenly they discovered their nerves. Started leaving balls not necessary to play, counter attacking for restoring sagging moral. Things started looking rosy for a pleasant change. The pair was scoring at a brisk pace. For the first time in the lopsided series short of a contest was visible. But as ill luck would have it Mahmudullah injured his hamstring why going for a quick single after the pair put on almost run a ball 69. He had to retire hurt not sure of resuming today. Bangladesh had Mehedy Miraz ,concussion replacement of Liton K Das . Miraz gave company to Mushfique for a while adding 51 runs in the partnership before falling to Ishant. Mushfique struck on the head was found all right for concussion. Another concussion replacement Taijul also gave Mushfique company for a while. When Taijul fell to Yadav at 153/6 the stumps were drawn for day two. Mushfique surviving two reviews was batting on 70 balls 59. Bangladesh was still 89 runs in arrears with only tail to give Mushfique company unless Mahmudullah recovers.
The first ever day night test in the sub continent can still be the shortest. In six sessions over two days 916 legal deliveries have been bowled. The shortest recorded so far is of 1028 balls of the test India won against rookie Afghanistan in 2018. For that not happening Mushfique and the rest have to survive another 113 deliveries. This test for another reason may walk into history. In the exclusive pace bowlers dominated match only 1 of the 26 wickets fell so far has gone to a spinner. Such incident happened once in the golden jubilee test in 1981.
On day one of the historic test Mominul won the toss and elected to make first use of the wicket against inform Indian pace trio making the first use of pink ball . It was risking sailing on unchartered territory. Bangladesh succumbed to 106 all out in 33.3 overs. Only three batsmen Shadman 29, Liton 24 and Naeem 19 could reach double figures. The remaining 8 batsmen together contributed only 20. Three top order Mominul, Mithun and Mushfique batting at 3,4 and 5 scoring dreaded ducks rewrote a dark page in cricket history. Spineless Bangladesh batting showed no character.
India responded carefully on day one reaching 174/3 at stumps. Maynak and Rohit could not click. Pujara scored 55. At stumps Virat remained unconquered on 59 and Rahane 23. India forged ahead by 68 runs with 7 wickets in tact. India on day two first session till lunch only lost Rahane at 51.
Great Kohli went on scoring his 27century his 20th as captain. In the process he went past Ricky Ponting. Only South African Graeme Smith remains ahead of him with 25 test centuries as captain. It was another classic innings of Virat featured with trademark cover drives and straight drives executed with precision. He was never in a hurry and looked calm and composed as he went on his business like a master tradesman. This was his 70thcentury across all three formats. Great Sachin will be pleased if Virat reaches his sky high record of century of centuries or even surpass. Still a long way to go yet. Virat has time at his disposal.
The session between lunch and Tea witnessed Bangladeshi bowlers suddenly bowling with venom and vive with the second new ball. Al Amin, Edadat and Jayed bowled consistently at right length and moved the new ball prodigiously. India could not bat as planned. However, by that time Virat scoring 136 did enough damage. India was already 243 runs ahead when Kohli declared the innings at 347/9 leaving Bangladesh a daunting task for surviving over 40 overs of pink ball attack in the twilight. Bangladesh bowlers did well taking 5 Indian wickets for 58 runs. Al Amin (3/85), Ebadat (3/89) and Jayed (2/77) looked truly impressive with the second new ball.
The challenges of Bangladesh was well cut out . From the manner Bangladeshi pacers teased and tormented India late order it could be guessed what awaited for team tigers. In no time Bangladesh was knocked down on the floor reduced to 13/4. Shadman, Mominul, Mithun and Kayes perished. Mithun was struck on the head. Defying to leave he did not survive long at the wicket.
The test match for the first time witnessed a purple patch of Bangladesh batting. Two heroes of Bangladesh cricket amply demonstrated their skills and quality drawing it out of their refrigerator. They left balls which were not meant for playing and played some delectable strokes. Musfique was stuck on the head. But he did not bulge. All were looking good till Mahmudullah developed hamstring injury while attempting a cheeky single. He was looking great with 39 scored off 41 deliveries striking 7 exquisite boundaries. He retired hurt with not much hope of resuming the innings today. Meraj gave company to Mushfique for a while before getting out. Taijul stayed also briefly. When he got out stumps were drawn for the day with Bangladesh still languishing at 152/6. The consolation is that the test did not finish in two days. Mushfique remained unbeaten on 59. Bangladesh has to score yet another 90 runs to make India bat a second time. Ishant Sharma needs one more wicket for making it another 10 wickets haul. He has taken 4/39 in the second Innings after his 5/22 in the first innings.
Questions being asked why Bangladesh could not have batsmen in the reserve after Mosaddeq was released from the squad and Saif got injured? So many unscrupulous persons got BCB hospitality but not a player for filling in concussion affected batsmen.
It was fascinating watching Indian pacers bowling with five slip fielders and a gully on Indian wickets. Such a scene Indian viewers and the rest of the world had never witnessed before. The days when four Indian spinners Prasanna, BishenBedi, Chandrashekhar and Venkataraghavan hunted together are still treasured by many India did not have a new ball bowler of quality for a long time till great KapilDev arrived. India with three new ball bowlers at their peak , B Kumar and J Bumrah recovering from injury appears well equipped for playing any team anywhere in the cricket world . Catching in the slips in particular and fielding in general is an area needing polishing though.
Bowling and batting of Bangladesh in the second innings demonstrated that very little was wrong with the wicket or the ambience of Eden test. Bangladesh perhaps did not have the right attitude and aptitude. They lacked mental toughness and strong will. Strong will and self - confidence makes a difference between a great player and mere mortal. This is sadly missing among the Bangladeshi cricketers.
HOPE TEAM BANGLADESH DOES NOT DIE BEFORE DEATH.
BDST: 1145 HRS, NOV 24, 2019