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Ashwin takes five but Test ends in draw

India enforces follow on after Bangladesh is bowled out for 256 in its first innings, but only 42.1 overs possible on final day due to rain

Ashwin takes five but Test ends in draw - Cricket News
R Ashwin celebrates a wicket.

There was never a realistic chance of victory, but on the final day of its only Test on tour, India gave Bangladesh a mini scare before the match finished with the home side fashioning a draw on Sunday (June 14). As it resumed on 111 for 3, Bangladesh was bowled out for 256 in 65.5 overs, and India enforced the follow on. Bangladesh was a lot more circumspect in its second essay, finishing on 23 without loss in 15 overs before the teams shook hands.

In the only session of play possible on Saturday, R Ashwin had been India’s most potent bowler. On Sunday, he made things happen as soon as he had the ball in hand, eventually finishing with 5 for 87, his best figures outside India.

Harbhajan Singh had begun his bowling stint in his comeback Test by finding some rhythm on Saturday, and though he showed glimpses of his best form, his was a support act, the one-time rookie offspinner and veteran having switched places in the pecking order. Nevertheless, his first outing in whites since March 2013 netted him good returns of 3 for 64.

The day began with heavy rains lashing the Khan Saheb Stadium, and chances of any play looked remote. However, only the first session was lost, and there was even a spell of sunshine. Virat Kohli attacked throughout the day and it paid rich dividends.

Ashwin bagged his third, putting paid to Bangladesh’s hopes of building a good stand through the overnight pair of Shakib Al Hasan and Imrul Kayes. Shakib edged a cut off a delivery that bounced more than he expected through to the wicketkeeper. At 121 for 4, India had an opening. Soumya Sarkar joined Kayes for a breezy half-century stand.

The breakthrough came thanks to some smart play by Harbhajan, who shortened his length and got the ball to turn past when he spotted Kayes advancing down the track. Wriddhiman Saha effected his second stumping of the innings, both openers falling to India’s pair of offspinners in that fashion. Sarkar became the only man to fall to a pacer, chopping Varun Aaron back on to his stumps.

Bangladesh’s bright spot was Litton Das, the debutant wicketkeeper who looked balanced and assured at the crease. While he was there, Bangladesh seemed capable of batting out the day, but Ashwin struck either side of tea to complete a five-wicket haul. Both Shuvagata Hom and Das were winkled out in similar fashion, though the ball that got Das would have given Ashwin more satisfaction since it turned from outside off, bounced appreciably and caught the batsman’s inside edge on the way to Rohit Sharma at leg-slip to end an innings of 44 from 45 balls.

At that stage, Bangladesh was 232 for 8, with 31 more required to avoid the follow-on. Bangladesh managed a few boundaries but was bowled out short of the mark, the final wicket coming off a run-out when Taijul Islam and Jubair Hossain went for a third run.

There were 30 overs left in the day for India to conjure a win, and naturally enough, the follow on was enforced. However, Kayes and Tamim Iqbal showing sensible restraint. Ashwin and Harbhajan bowled a majority of the overs and gave up a combined 19 runs in 11 overs bowled, but crucially, they couldn’t break through. Before the mandatory overs started, it was clear that a draw was the only result possible and the teams shook hands before walking off.

India will wonder what might have been but for the weather, the result meaning that it drops down a place in the ICC Test rankings to No. 4. For Bangladesh, the performances of Shakib and Jubair Hossain with the ball and Das with the bat will be a positive and it will look to build on that in the One-Day International series to follow.

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