India reigned supreme in the second test match against host Bangladesh as they defeated them by an innings and 239 runs. Bangladesh played like a bunch if amateurs and reiterated the fact that in the shorter version of the games they could spring a few upsets here and there but when it came to the real test, they have a long way to go!
The host lost the initiative after winning the toss at Mirpur in Dhaka when they sent in India to bat. The Indians came out blazing with the new opening combination of Wasim Jaffer and Dinesh Karthik strking gold at the top of the order. Despite hot and humid conditions the openers applied themselves well and came up with a stellar performance to complete their centuries. Jaffer made ammends for his ‘king pair ducks’ in the first test match by playing positively. Both batsmen grinded the opposition and made the most of the opportunity presented to them. Jaffer made 138 runs from 229 balls which had 17 boundaries while Karthik 129 runs from 212 balls with 16 boundaries. Jaffer fell to the conditions and was replaced by Dravid who too stamped his authority in the middle by striking a ton. His knock was the faster of the lot as he made 129 runs from 176 deliveries with as many as 15 boundaries and a six. He was joined by Tendulkar who also scored a century. He madew 122 runs from 226 balls, a knock which had 8 boundaries and a six. Sachin’s knock had the least number of boundaries amongst the four top order centuries which shows that he applied himself and played to the conditions. He extended his record by scoring his 37th century, although once again his knock was more ‘with the wind’ types rather than ‘against the wind’ ! India’s top four batsmen scored a century each and set a world record
Bangladesh collapsed in their first innings as the entire side was bowled out for a paltry total of 118 runs. The batsmen looked in a hurry to score runs and played some reckless shots to get out. Only three batsmen could score in excess of 20 runs which goes to show the dismal performance that the hosts put up. S Hasan top scored for the Bangladeshis with 30 runs while the rest of the team’s batting performance was pretty ordinary.
Indians enforced follow-on after scutlling the hosts for 118. The performance of the Bangladeshis was nothing too great in the second innings although they played than their first innings. Opener Javed Omar got out in the same fashion and for the same score at the top. It was the standout innings of Mohammad Ashraful that stood out in the Bangladeshi scorecard that took the hosts to the total of 253 runs. He struck 12 boundaries and 2 sixes in his knock of 67 that came in 41 balls. He got some company from Rajin Saleh as the two batsmen got into a valuable partnership. Ashraful’s knock was special in the light of the dismal performance of the host. It had a streak of belligerence and had aggression written all over it. All the Indian bowlers received a flak from this batsmen who reached his half century in few balls.
But the hosts did not display the tenacity or the perseverance that is required at the highest level of cricket- i.e. test cricket. They performed loosely and it was not a collective performance from a team. The batsmen appeared under the influence of one day cricket and lacked the application that would help them snatch a victory. The Indians on the other hand set some records and the batsmen got some good practice ahead of the upcoming tour to England. The seamers too stuck to their jobs on a docile pitch at Mirpur, in particular Zaheer Khan who took 8 wickets for the match! It was a special test for Anil Kumble as he reached 550 wickets in test cricket and entered the elite club of three bowlers! The visitors won the match and the series 1-0 under the leadership of captain Rahul Dravid and Ravi Shastri.
Indians could take lot of heart from this performance as they gear up for a hectic season coming up. Hope they are able to adapt to the conditions in England and other venues and produce similar results!