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India snatch victory from Bangladesh in 8th wicket stand

Ravichandran Ashwin (42*) and Shreyas Iyer (29*) put on an unbeaten 71-run stand for the eighth wicket that helped India clinch victory against the odds after slipping to 74/7 in chase of 145.

Bangladesh’s hero was Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who had picked up three wickets overnight, and two more early on day four to cause worries for India. Needing 100 more runs to win, India came out with a more positive outlook with the bat. Jaydev Unadkat survived an LBW review early and promptly smacked a six next ball.

However his luck with the review was short lived as Bangladesh’s skipper Shakib Al Hasan trapped him plumb in front. As Unadkat departed, burning a review in the process, Rishabh Pant filled in the shoes of being proactive. He reverse swept Shakib for a boundary and quickly moved to 9 before Mehidy Hasan had him LBW with one going straight on from round the wicket. Mehidy had Bangladesh cock-a-hoop in his next over, when the well set Axar Patel was bowled on 34 by a quicker one that ricocheted off his pads onto the leg stump.

With Bangladesh well in sight of their first ever Test win against India, R Ashwin joined hands with Shreyas Iyer. The pair could have spearated early if Ashwin had not been dropped on 1. Mehidy Hasan nearly had his sixth but a bat-pad chance was fluffed by the otherwise sharp Mominul Haque.

It gave India the breather they required and the duo of Ashwin and Iyer began to slowly rebuild the innings in singles and twos. As the ball got softer, the bite off the pitch came down but there was always enough to keep the bowlers in the hunt. Bangladesh’s spinners were on the money right through constantly targeting the stumps and hardly ever giving a boundary ball.

It was only 66 balls and 27 runs into the partnership that Iyer finally took a chance. On 97/7, Iyer lofted Shakib, albeit not with the best timing, over mid off for a boundary. It was a followed by Shakib pulling his length back that was promptly pulled over midwicket by Iyer. He had one more boundary in the next over when Mehidy finally missed his length and went a little short to be drilled through cover.

The three boundaries shifted the momentum swiftly in India’s favour. As Shakib brought on a pacer with the last throw of the dice, Ashwin got two boundaries in the over – one streakily off the outside edge – to ease the tension further.

The fifty-run stand between the duo came up shortly after as they proceeded to work the singles. The victory finally came quickly as Mehidy Hasan was picked for 16 in an over. Starting with a short ball, he was dispatched for a six over midwicket by Ashwin who then proceeded to loft him over mid off for another boundary, before finally finishing with a whip through midwicket.

The eighth wicket stand was India’s second highest in Test cricket in the fourth innings, and it ensured that India swept the series 2-0 up and moved up to second in the WTC table.

Brief scores: Bangladesh 227 & 231 (Litton Das 73, Zakir Hasan 51; Axar Patel 3-68) lost to India 314 & 145/7 (R Ashwin 42*, Shreyas Iyer 29*; Mehidy Hasan Miraz 5-63, Shakib Al Hasan 2-50) by 3 wickets.