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BAN v IND, 1st Test, Day 4: India ahead but Bangladesh still in it at 272-6 chasing mammoth score

Bangladesh vs India, 1st Test, Day 4, Top Performances: Zakir Hasan's 100 and Axar Patel's 3-50 and Najmul Hossain-Zakir Hasan's 124-run stand are top performances from Day 4. Bangladesh need 271 runs on Day 5 with 4 wickets in hand.

Bangladesh vs India, 1st Test, Day 4, Top Performances: Bangladesh need 271 runs on Day 5 to win first Test | Walking Wicket (Source_ ©Associated Press)
India need four wickets on Day 5 to win first Test (Source: ©Associated Press)

Brief Scores: Bangladesh 272/6 (Zakir 100, Shanto 67, Axar 3/50) & 150 (Rahim 28, Kuldeep 5/40, Siraj 3/20) need another 241 runs to beat India 404 (Pujara 90, Iyer 86, Mehidy 4/112) & 258/2dec (Gill 110, Pujara 102*, Khaled 1/51)

Bangladesh batters put on a better show compared to the first innings and a century stand between openers Najmul Hossain Shanto and Zakir Hasan laid a solid foundation for the hosts to fight back in the game. However, India are still firmly in pole position to win the game.

Bangladesh’s better showing and application with the bat meant the game will move to the final day as the visitors still need to pick 4 wickets to gain a 1-0 lead in the series, while Bangladesh need 241 more runs to do the unthinkable at Chattogram.

Openers keep India at bay in the first session

Bangladesh, after a disappointing outing in their first innings, saw off the new ball threat in the second essay with openers - Shanto and Zakir – taking their side to 42/0 at stumps on day three. Still needing a massive 471 runs to win, the pair started off confidently in the morning session of the fourth day.

The new opening duo of Shanto & Zakir began from where they left off the previous evening and completed a well-deserved century stand in only their second innings batting together. India’s bowlers had to toil hard in the first session as they couldn’t get a single wicket to show for their efforts. Bangladesh managed to accumulate 77 runs in the morning session with both openers getting to their respective half-centuries.

India’s bowlers strike back in the second session

After a sedate morning for the visitors on the field, a lapse of concentration on the part of a well-set Shanto (67) gave India a breakthrough. Umesh Yadav found the edge of the batter and Pant pouched the relay catch off Virat Kohli who missed a straightforward chance at slip. This break proved a game-changer for India as they got one more wicket a little later when Axar’s arm ball shattered Yasir Ali’s stumps.

Litton Das, the most improved Bangladesh batter, struggled a lot during his 59-ball stay on the crease and Kuldeep was the one who troubled him throughout his vigil. And fittingly, the leggie was the one who accounted for Das when the batter got out as the hosts reached 176/3 at tea. The debutant Zakir looked assured, solid and remained unscathed at 82 going into the final session.

Axar Patel’s dual strikes give India upper hand after Zakir Hasan’s century

The experienced Mushfiqur Rahim along with Zakir looked to keep the scoreboard ticking in the final session and in the process, the latter reached his well-deserved century in his debut Test. Just when the hosts would have hoped for a lengthy partnership between the duo, the left-hander perished to Ashwin’s off-spin at the exact personal score of 100.

Shakib had several nervy moments to endure when he came to the crease, but the Bangladesh captain was looking to be positive right from the word go. The twin strikes in a single over, however, by Axar to dismiss Rahim and Nurul Hasan dented Bangladesh hopes further. As Shakib continued to play his brand of cricket, the hosts ended the day at 272/6, with 241 more runs still needed for them to win. Shakib will be accompanied by all-rounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz on the final day of this Test match.

Let’s take a look at the top three performances from the fourth day of the first Test between Bangladesh and India being played at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram.

Bangladesh vs India, 1st Test, Day 4, Top Performances_ Zakir Hasan scored Test century in his debut game for Bangladesh _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©BCB)
Zakir Hasan scored Test century in his debut game for Bangladesh (Source: ©BCB)

Zakir Hasan scores magnificent century on Test debut

Zakir Hasan continued his good run of form from the recent India A series into his international Test debut against India in Chattogram. After a brief stay in the first innings where he made 20 but looked assured in scoring those runs, especially against Ashwin, Zakir went one step further in the second innings.

Starting the day from 42/0, Zakir along with Shanto offered stiff resistance to the Indian bowling attack that dismissed them for a paltry 150 in the first innings. However, the openers this time around looked in no trouble on what has become a slow track. Zakir got to his maiden Test fifty in the first session and despite the fall of Shanto and two more wickets in the second innings, the youngster converted his maiden half-century into a hundred and thus becoming only the fourth Bangladesh batter (after Aminul Islam, Mohammad Ashraful and Abul Hasan) and 113th overall to achieve this feat in Test cricket.

Bangladesh vs India, 1st Test, Day 4, Top Performances_ Axar Patel took 3-50 on Day 4 of Chattogram Test; India need 4 wickets on Day 5 _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©AFP_Getty Images)
Axar Patel took 3-50 on Day 4 of Chattogram Test (Source: ©AFP/Getty Images)

Axar Patel spins the game in India’s favour

India looked at sea in the first session of play as the Bangladesh openers found it easy to mitigate the threat caused by the visiting team’s bowlers. Come the second session, the first breakthrough opened the floodgates for India. Axar Patel, who has an impressive Test record till now, didn’t need a second invitation as an error in judgment from the part of Yasir Ali proved to be enough, giving India their second wicket.

Axar bowled tight lines to all the batters and the reward for his relentless bowling came in the third session. After Ashwin accounted for the centurion Zakir, Axar produced a 2-wicket over that put India firmly in the driver’s seat. The well set Mushfiqur was undone by a beauty from Axar, one similar to Yasir Ali’s dismissal and Nurul also perished in the same over.

The left-arm spinner ended day four with figures of 3/50 and looks set to add another fifer in his kitty.

Bangladesh vs India, 1st Test, Day 4, Top Performances_ Najmul Hossain Shanto-Zakir Hasan put on 124-run stand on Day 4 of Chattogram Test _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©Associated Press)
Najmul Hossain-Zakir added 124-run for 1st wicket Day 4 (Source: ©Associated Press)

Bangladesh openers produce rear-guard action with a century stand

Chasing a score in excess of 500 is always going to be Himalayan task for any side. But the way the Bangladesh openers - Shanto and Zakir - applied themselves in this pressure situation would be heartening to see from a Bangladesh point of view. They reached the 50-run mark which is just the second time a Bangladesh opening pair has done it in this calendar year. And they didn’t stop there and runs kept coming as the duo kept batting after achieving that milestone.

They brought up their 100-run partnership and just when the team would have harboured hopes of a Kyle Mayers kind of performance, Shanto fell ending their 124-run association, thanks to a brilliant reflex catch by Pant behind the wickets.

What to Expect on Day 4

As simple as that, there will certainly be a result in this Test match unless weather intervenes which looks unlikely at the moment. India need 4 wickets to wrap this game up, while the hosts need 241 runs to achieve the improbable target of 513. With skipper Shakib and Mehidy at the crease, one could expect a fight from the hosts on a slow fifth day pitch in Chattogram.

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