Ashwin fifer marks drawn Test

Cricket: India earn psychological advantage after forcing the hosts to follow-on

Ashwin fifer marks drawn Test

Ravichandran Ashwin cast his web with a five-wicket haul and was duly complemented by Harbhajan Singh before India settled for a draw against an edgy Bangladesh in the rain-marred one-off Test which was interrupted by downpours on all five days.

With more than 250 overs lost during the entire duration of the match, the visitors would feel unlucky that they didn’t even get three full days of cricket which could have decisively tilted the match in their favour.

Virat Kohli’s boys were superior in all departments and would certainly have a psychological advantage going into the three-match ODI series starting Thursday.

In reply to India’s first innings score of 462 for six, Bangladesh, resuming at 111 for three after the opening session was washed out, faced the ignominy of being shot out for 256 in 65.5 overs — seven runs short of follow-on.

While Ashwin, with 5/87 from 25 overs, bamboozled the Bangladeshi batsmen with vicious turn and bounce, Harbhajan (3/64 in 17.5 overs) also justified his inclusion in the side bowling well in patches to become the ninth highest Test wicket-taker in the history of the game, surpassing Pakistan legend Wasim Akram.

In fact, Kohli probably wanted to drive home a point by asking Bangladesh to follow-on in what was an inconsequential final hour of play on the fifth day where only two sessions were possible due to overnight rain.

When play was finally called off, Bangladesh were 23 for no loss in the 15 overs that were bowled in their second innings.

For Bangladesh, Imrul Kayes (72) was the top-scorer but it was young debutant Litton Kumar Das, who played a lovely cameo hitting a quickfire 44 off 45 balls with eight fours and a six before being gobbled by Rohit Sharma at backward short leg off Ashwin.

Another youngster Soumya Sarkar (37) also showed his attacking prowess but could not convert his start.

The two sessions on the day were dominated by Ashwin as he first got Shakib al Hasan (9) when the left-hander tried to cut a delivery which bounced a shade extra and Wriddhiman Saha took a smart catch behind the stumps.

Left-handed Sarkar came in and counter-attacked the Indian spin duo as runs came at a fair clip.

Kayes was also hitting the occasional boundary as the scoreboard kept ticking during their 51-run stand for the fifth wicket.

Harbhajan bowled the occasional good delivery but was guilty of bowling a boundary ball in each over early on in his spell when he was trying to settle down.

However the ‘Turbanator’ got his second victim when he removed an in-form Kayes (72), who misjudged the length while charging out as Wriddhiman got his third victim of the innings with a neat stumping.

Score board

INDIA (I Innings): 462/6 decl

BANGLADESH (I Innings; O/n: 111/3 in 30.1 overs):
Tamim st Saha b Ashwin    19
Kayes st Saha b Harbhajan    72
Mominul c Yadav b Harbhajan    30
Mushfiqur c R Sharma b Ashwin    2
Shakib c Saha b Ashwin    9
Sarkar b Aaron    37
Litton c Rohit b Ashwin    44
Hom c Rohit b Ashwin    9
Taijul (not out)    16
Shahid c Dhawan b Harbhajan    6
Jubair (run out)    0
Extras (LB-9, NB-3)    12
Total (all out in 65.5 overs)    256
Fall of wickets: 1-27, 2-108, 3-110, 4-121, 5-172, 6-176, 7-219, 8-232, 9-246, 10-256.
Bowling: Ishant 7-0-24-0, Ashwin 25-6-87-5,  Yadav 7-0-45-0, Aaron 9-0-27-1, Harbhajan 17.5-2-64-3. 

BANGLADESH (II Innings; following on):

Tamim (not out)    16
Kayes (not out)    7
Total (for no loss; 15 overs)    23
Bowling: Umsh Yadav 2-1-4-0, R Ashwin 6-2-8-0, Harbhajan Singh 5-2-11-0, M Vijay 1-1-0-0, Shikhar Dhawan 1-1-0-0.  

Harbhajan Singh surpasses Akram

India’s senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Sunday reached a landmark as he surpassed Pakistan legend Wasim Akram’s tally of Test wickets to climb to ninth in the all-time highest wicket-takers’ list.

Harbhajan dismissed Imrul Kayes for 72 to reach 415 Test victims, one more than Akram’s 414 from 104 matches.

His final figures of 3/64 took his tally to 416  victims from 102 Test matches.
The ‘Turbanator’ is now only 20 wickets short of beating Kapil Dev’s 434 Test wickets to become the second highest wicket-taker in history of Indian Test cricket after Anil Kumble’s 619 wickets.

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