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Rain rules again in Fatullah

India's offspinners strike but once again weather has the final say

Rain rules again in Fatullah - Cricket News
Harbhajan Singh, playing his first Test in over two years, sent back Mominul Haque for 30.
Bangladesh made a positive start in its innings on yet another truncated day of cricket in its first Test against India, reaching 111 for 3 in 30.1 overs on the fourth day before a heavy downpour meant there was no further possibility of play at the Khan Saheb Stadium in Fatullah, with the last two sessions washed out.
 
At the close, Bangladesh was trailing by 351 runs, with Imrul Kayes batting on 59 and Shakib Al Hasan yet to open his account. But with only one day left in the match, a draw is almost a foregone conclusion.
 
Rain has been more of a fixture in this Test than actual play, and so it continued on Saturday (June 13) after India had declared at its overnight 462 for 6 to give itself an outside chance of forcing a result.
 
The morning wasn’t sunny, but it was clear, which allowed play to start on schedule at 9.30am. India’s declaration was along expected lines, but Virat Kohli sprung a surprise by asking R Ashwin to share the new ball with Ishant Sharma, preferring the offspinner’s guile to the speed of Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron.


 
The call was a brilliant one. Ashwin has often bowled with the new white ball, but proved equally good with the red cherry, getting drift, turn and loop. The reward wasn’t long in coming. Tamim Iqbal, who went past Habibul Bashar’s 3,026 runs to become Bangladesh’s leading Test scorer during his innings of 19, was drawn forward only to be stranded. The ball turned away and Wriddhiman Saha showed excellent glovework to whip the bails off, leaving Bangladesh 27 for 1.
 
Kohli kept Ashwin on at one end for an extended spell, while rotating his pacers at the other end. Ishant had kept things quiet, but the pace picked up with Yadav’s entry into the attack. His first two balls were to Mominul Haque, and to the bowler’s chagrin, both found the boundary off edges. The first was wide of the slip cordon, and the second took the inside edge and missed the stumps on the way to the fine leg boundary.
 
In Yadav’s next over, Kayes was squared up by a lifter that flew off the edge, but Shikhar Dhawan spilled the chance at a wide second slip, diving across and getting both hands to the ball but not holding on. Five boundaries came in Yadav’s first two overs, but none were of shots the batsmen were completely in control of. However, with that nervy period seen off, both Mominul and Kayes settled down more.
 
Ashwin’s teasing line outside the offstump troubled both left-handers, but they stayed in. Their positive attitude helped too. Even if the ball drifted and threatened to kiss the outside edge with its turn and line, they didn’t hesitate to put away the next delivery if they could. The shots square of the wicket were particularly crisp.
 
Harbhajan Singh, playing his first Test in over two years, replaced Ashwin as Kohli continued with the ploy of pace at one end and spin at the other, but though Harbhajan kept things reasonably tight, he didn’t look as threatening as his offspinning partner had done.
 
Kayes brought up a half-century off 75 balls and Mominul, who had hit 50-plus scores in 11 consecutive Tests coming into this match, looked on track to equal AB de Villiers’s mark of 12. That prompted a change of tack from Kohli, and 24 overs into the Bangladesh innings, with the score 102 for 1, he brought Ashwin back from the other end to make it an all-offspin attack.
 
Soon after, a rush of blood gave Harbhajan a wicket. Charging down the track, Mominul couldn’t get to the pitch of the ball and the leading edge was taken by Yadav at mid-off, sending the batsman on his way for 30 and ending an 81-run stand that had come at a fair clip. In the next over, Ashwin struck again with another good bit of bowling, catching the inside edge off Mushfiqur Rahim’s defensive prod for Rohit Sharma to cling on at backward short leg.
 
With India on the attack, rain arrived ten minutes before the scheduled lunch break. Though lunch was taken immediately, play never resumed, with unrelenting rain accompanied by heavy cloud cover.

To see full scorecard, click here.

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