‘If we get two wickets tomorrow morning, we have a great chance’
India suffered a top order meltdown chasing a small victory target of 145 after spinner Mehidy Hasan struck triple blows to keep alive Bangladesh’s hopes of a series-levelling victory in the dramatic second Test on Saturday.
The tourists were on a precarious 45-4 after 14 wickets tumbled on a frenetic day three — half of them in the final session alone.
Axar Patel, promoted to number four, was batting on 26 at stumps with nightwatchman Jaydev Unadkat on three at the other end.
Earlier, Bangladesh posted 231 in their second innings largely because of Litton Das’ sparkling 73 before being all out in the final session.
Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Najmul Hossain in the second over of the day and Mohammed Siraj sent back Mominul Haque, whose 84 was the highest score in Bangladesh’s first innings 227.
Home captain Shakib Al Hasan played a loose shot and Mushfiqur Rahim fell cheaply too but Zakir Hasan made a patient 51 taking Bangladesh past the 100-mark.
Having conceded a first-innings lead of 87, Bangladesh slumped to 113-6 but added 118 for the last four wickets after Litton, Bangladesh’s last recognised batsman, counter-attacked in company of tailenders.
He had luck on his side too.
Virat Kohli twice dropped Litton in the slip off Patel and Ashwin respectively.
Litton added 46 runs with Nurul Hasan (31) and 67 with Taskin Ahmed, who remained not out on 31, before Siraj breached his defence.
Spin all-rounder Patel claimed 3-68 but could hardly catch his breath as he had to walk out after India lost two quick wickets.
On a turning track with variable bounce, Shakib began with spin from both ends and nearly had his India counterpart KL Rahul caught at short leg in the first over of the innings.
Shakib did not have to wait long though and, in his next over, he had Rahul caught behind.
Mehidy (3-12) injected fresh drama into the contest by mowing down India’s top order.
The off-spinner dismissed both Cheteshwar Pujara and Shubman Gill stumped and dismissed Kohli caught at short leg for one to compound India’s crisis.
“They are a good batting side,” the spinner told the official broadcasters afterwards.
“If we get two wickets tomorrow morning, we have a great chance.”
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