Spin twins carve another win

Cricket One-off Test : Ashwin, Jadeja claim four wickets each as Indians overpower Bangladesh

Spin twins carve another win

Indian bowlers blended perseverance with guile to knock out a gritty Bangladesh on an unresponsive pitch and extend their unbeaten streak to 19 matches here on Monday.

Spinners Ravichandran Ashwin (4/73) and Ravindra Jadeja (4/78) shared the bulk of the honours while Ishant Sharma (2/40) produced a brilliant spell in the middle phase as the hosts wrapped up a 208-run victory after dismissing the tourists for 250 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.

On the first four days of the one-off Test, the Indians had been making strong starts to put Bangladesh on the back foot and they kick-started the final day’s proceedings also in the same fashion as Jadeja removed the dangerous Shakib al Hasan with the 15th ball of the morning.

Targeting the rough around Shakib’s off-stump, Jadeja got one to turn sharply and the Bangladeshi all-rounder, caught completely off-guard, ended up offering a simple catch to Cheteshwar Pujara at short leg.

But, like how they've been doing all through this game, Bangladesh showed plenty of heart and fought back through Mahmudullah and skipper Mushfiqur Rahim. Going through a slump in form, there was no better time for Mahmudullah to stage a resurrection and the 31-year-old conjured all his experience to keep the hungry Indians at bay.

Skipper Virat Kohli, who unleashed his trump card Ashwin only in the 18th over the day, chose to operate with Umesh Yadav from the other end at the start and the pacer yet again gave Bangladesh a tough time with his reverse swing. However, the vastly improved 29-year-old didn't get any reward for his effort as Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur swung, missed and survived.

Just when Bangladesh seemed to have Virat Kohli a little worried as things meandered along without much purpose, Mushfiqur committed harakiri to hand the initiative back to India. Having already spanked Ashwin for a boundary in his first over, the diminutive right-hander, trying to over-attack the offie, paid the price for bravado in the next over, holding out Jadeja at covers.

Having dismissed half the side in the first session itself, India sensed an early finish to the proceedings. But Bangladesh refused to cow down as Mahmudullah continued to frustrate the hosts and in the company of Sabbir Rahman posted a second successive fifty partnership.

Senior pacer Ishant, however, ensured the end came sooner rather than later for Bangladesh with a brilliant spell post lunch. Bowling fast and reverse swinging the ball, Ishant harried Mahmudullah and Sabbir. Both the batsmen had little clue on the happenings and eventually Sabbir perished to a peach. Ishant swung the ball in late, trapping Sabbir plump in front. He then removed Mahmudullah, the batsman hooking a short ball and offering Bhuvneshwar Kumar a simple catch at fine leg. Ishant could have added one more scalp in that riveting spell of 6-1-12-2 but Murali Vijay dropped a sitter at slip.

Kohli then kept mixing his bowlers, giving all of them just mini spells and constantly changing their ends. The ploy to unleash nearly all of his ammunition in one go didn't bear results however as Bangladesh hung around for longer than expected.  

Having had enough, Jadeja then dislodged Mehedi Hasan with a ripper. The ball turned and bounced, taking Mehedi’s glove while wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha completed a fine catch. Taijul then perished, top-edging while trying to pull Jadeja.

Ashwin, back into the attack, then secured India’s sixth successive series win, trapping Taskin Ahmed leg-before. There was a confusion over the dismissal and umpire Marius Erasmus sought the help of his colleague in the cabin. The verdict ‘out’ came soon and India completed a comprehensive win to set the right tempo for the more gruelling Australia series starting later this month.

score board

INDIA (I Innings): 687/6 decl
BANGLADESH (I Innings): 388
INDIA (II Innings):159/4 decl
BANGLADESH (II Innings, O/n: 103/3):
Tamim c Kohli b Ashwin    3
(20m, 11b)
Sarkar c Rahane b Jadeja    42
(91m, 66b, 7x4)
Mominul c Rahane b Ashwin    27
(78m, 63b, 3x4)
M’dullah c Bhuvneshwar b Ishant    64
(200m, 149b, 7x4)
Shakib c Pujara b Jadeja    22
(40m, 50b, 4x4)
Mushfiqur c Jadeja b Ashwin    23
(65m, 44b, 2x4, 1x6)
Sabbir lbw Ishant    22
(60m, 61b, 3x4, 1x6)
Mehedi c Saha b Jadeja    23
(75m, 61b, 4x4)
Kamrul (not out)    3
(84m, 70b)
Taijul c Rahul b Jadeja    6
(22m, 24b, 1x4)
Taskin lbw Ashwin    1
(10m, 7b)
 Extras (B-4, LB-7, NB-3)    14
Total (all out, 100.3 overs)    250

Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Tamim), 2-71 (Sarkar), 3-75 (Mominul), 4-106 (Shakib), 5-162 (Mushfiqur), 6-213 (Sabbir), 7-225 (Mahmudullah), 8-242 (Mehedi), 9-249 (Taijul).
Bowling: Bhuvneshwar 8-4-15-0, Ashwin 30.3-10-73-4, Ishant 13-3-40-2 (nb-3), Umesh 12-2-33-0, Jadeja 37-15-78-4.

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