Lunch India 348 for 7 (Ashwin 40*, Kuldeep 21*, Taijul 3-100, Mehidy 2-96) vs Bangladesh

R Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav frustrated Bangladesh on the second morning in Chattogram with an unbroken stand of 50 to take the visitors close to the 350 mark by lunch. The ball continued to stay low and turned like it did on the first day and Bangladesh would have hoped for more wickets once they removed Shreyas Iyer for 86 in the eighth over of the day with India seven short of 300, but they couldn’t make any more inroads as India put on 70 runs in 30 overs in the session.

Iyer and Ashwin started the day by patiently negotiating the lack of bounce from the quicks and some turn from Taijul Islam, Bangladesh’s best bowler on the opening day, and the hosts looked desperate to break the stand. They burned a review in the fourth over of the day when they thought Ashwin had edged Ebadot Hossain behind, but replays showed the ball had only touched the pad. Soon Ebadot started using the short-ball strategy against Iyer for the first time in the match and was rewarded with a leading edge off a hook to fine leg where Litton Das gave Iyer his third life and then went off the field with an injured knee.

Ebadot, however, struck in his next over by jagging the ball into Iyer to hit off stump when the batter played inside the line. Ashwin had meanwhile struck Mehidy Hasan Miraz for a six over long-on for his first boundary. Bangladesh burned another review when they thought Kuldeep Yadav, batting ahead of Umesh Yadav, had tickled his first ball down the leg side to the wicketkeeper off Khaled Ahmed but again there was no edge.

Many would have thought Ashwin would take more strike compared to Kuldeep in the partnership, but he often took a single on the first ball of many overs. Kuldeep took 19 balls to get off the mark and repaid the faith shown in him by carefully playing the spinners, either leaning into the ball to block or going deep in the crease to defend or cut when he got width. Apart from a few times that he was beaten outside off when Mehidy turned the ball away from him, Kuldeep also collected boundaries off the loose balls he got.

The first of those came when a short ball from Khaled didn’t bounce as much and Kuldeep pulled it for four. He then welcomed Taijul for his second spell with a reverse sweep behind point to reach double figures even as the scoring crawled along at just over two an over. Batting appeared to look easier in the second hour once the ball got softer and the batters looked settled. Ashwin looked confident and more solid during his 81-ball stay for 40 runs as the hosts resorted to spin from both ends in the second hour.

In an eventful over from Taijul, Ashwin was first beaten by turn outside off and edged the next ball past first slip, and the throw from deep third landed right on the helmet stationed behind the keeper’s position for five extra runs for India. Two balls later Bangladesh appealed for an lbw call against Kuldeep when he was hit in front of leg stump but the ball was likely turning down leg. Four overs later there was a loud lbw appeal against Ashwin too and Bangladesh reviewed again to see the ball was just clipping leg stump and the umpire’s call meant Ashwin survived and the hosts didn’t lose a review this time.

Bangladesh tried Najmul Hossain Shanto’s offbreaks as well in the last few overs before lunch without success and Shakib Al Hasan’s unavailability to bowl because of an injury hurt them further.


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