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BAN v IND, 2nd Test, Day 4: Ashwin-Shreyas 71* stand helps India snatch victory from jaws of defeat

Bangladesh vs India, 2nd Test, Day 4, Top Performances: Ravichandran Ashwin-Shreyas Iyer's 71-run stand and Mehidy Hasan Miraz's 5-63 are top performances. India beat Bangladesh by 3 wickets and consolidate second place (PCT - 58.93) in World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23 Table.

Bangladesh vs India, 2nd Test, Day 4, Top Performances: Ravichandran Ashwin, Shreyas Iyer added 71 runs for 8th wicket in fourth innings; India beat Bangladesh | Walking Wicket (Source_ ©Associated Press)
Ashwin, Iyer 71-run stand helps India beat Bangladesh in 2nd Test (Source: ©Associated Press)

Brief Scores: India 314 & 145-7 (R Ashwin 42*, Shreyas Iyer 29*, Mehidy Hasan Miraz 5-63) beat Bangladesh 227 & 231 by 3 wickets; India won the series 2-0


Player of the Match: Ravichandran Ashwin – 4/71, 2/66, 12 & 42*


Player of the Series: Cheteshwar Pujara - 222 Runs

India started the fourth day’s play needing exactly 100 runs to win with 6 wickets in hand. They had promoted two tailenders as nightwatchmen the previous evening. However, the move had mixed success. While Axar Patel played a cameo of 34 to justify his inclusion as an all-rounder, the move to promote Jaydev Unadkat backfired as the pacer was dismissed early on the fourth morning.

Sending a nightwatchman at the fag end of day’s play is an old cricketing culture, but here two in-form batters were available to bat and counter the pressure of a small chase in the fourth innings, but thanks to the ill-conceived move, India were reduced to 56/5 and were under pressure straightaway on the fourth day. With Rishabh Pant too falling early for a personal score of 9, a loss loomed on India’s head as they were reduced to 71/6 at the point where the star wicketkeeper batter got out and 74/7 soon after with the dismissal of Axar.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Shreyas Iyer break jail to bring India victory from jaws of defeat

If it was not for some traditional good batting by Shreyas Iyer and Ravichandran Ashwin against some quality spin bowling by Bangladesh, the outcome of this match would have been India’s first loss against Bangladesh in Tests.


India had their fair share of luck as well with Ashwin being dropped early in his innings. Ashwin and Iyer then combined to negate the threat of the viciously spinning ball and low bounce, and scored over 4 runs per over to close out the match before lunch. Ashwin batted brilliantly for his 62-ball 42* to steer India to victory in the company of Iyer who made 29*(46).


Highest eighth wicket stand in victorious Test chase for India

The two players put up a match-winning stand of 71* for the eighth wicket, which is also the highest stand for this wicket in a victorious Test chase for India. This squarely beats the victorious stand of 10* for the eighth wicket between Kapil Dev and Syed Kirmani against West Indies in Chennai in 1979. If one talks about the earlier record for the highest eighth wicket stand for India in the fourth innings irrespective of the result, it was the stand of 70 runs between Kapil Dev and Laxman Sivaramakrishnan against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 1985-86; this was a game which India lost.



India firm favourites for WTC 2021-23 provided they win by a substantial margin against Australia

With the series win, India have consolidated the second spot in the World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23 points table (PCT - 58.93). However, they are still far from booking a place in the final. They have four Tests against Australia at home and must win at least three Tests that will give them a healthy PCT of 62.5 to keep them in the race for the final to be held sometime in mid-2023.


ICC World Test Championship 2021-23 Points Table

Position

Team

PCT(%)

Points

W

L

D

No. of series

Penalty

1

Australia

75

108

8

1

3

4

0

2

India

58.93

99

8

4

2

5

-5

3

South Africa

54.55

72

6

5

0

5

0

4

Sri Lanka

53.33

64

5

4

1

5

0

5

England

46.97

124

10

8

4

6

-12

6

West Indies

40.91

54

4

5

2

5

-2

7

Pakistan

38.89

56

4

6

2

5

0

8

New Zealand

25.93

28

2

6

1

4

0

9

Bangladesh

11.11

16

1

10

1

6

0

*PCT (%): Percentage, L: Number of matches lost, SER: Number of series played, PTS: Number of points awarded, D: Number of matches drawn, PEN: Number of penalty overs, W: Number of matches won



Let’s take a look at the top performances of the second Test between Bangladesh and India in Mirpur.

Bangladesh vs India, 2nd Test, Day 4, Top Performances_ Shreyas Iyer playing a shot during his 29-run innings; India beat Bangladesh _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©Associated Press)
Shreyas Iyer playing a shot during his 29-run innings (Source: ©Associated Press)

Ravichandran Ashwin- Shreyas Iyer partnership of 71*

India looked in trouble at 74/7, chasing 145 for a 2-0 series win. The ball was turning, and keeping low, and it was a difficult pitch to stay put at the wicket, forget about scoring runs. Ashwin got a reprieve early in his innings, and he made Bangladesh pay dearly for their lapses on the field. He played with a low stance to counter the low bounce, while Shreyas Iyer played with a straight bat.


The two also scored briskly and kept chipping away at the target. When the target was near, Ravichandran Ashwin launched into Mehidy Hasan Miraz, taking 16 off the latter’s over – a six and 2 fours – to finish off the game. Iyer gave good support from the other end to remain unbeaten on 29.


Once again, Ashwin has shown his quality as a batter, reminding fans of his great blockathon at Sydney in Australia in 2021, the drawn Test against West Indies with scores level at Wankhede in Mumbai in 2011, his 5 Test tons, and many more. Shreyas Iyer too is growing in stature in Test cricket, despite his shortcomings against the short ball. He would definitely rate this cameo of 29* higher than a few of his fifties.


Bangladesh vs India, 2nd Test, Day 3, Top Performances_ Mehidy Hasan Miraz took 5-63 in 2nd innings for Bangladesh_ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©AFG_Getty Images)
Mehidy Hasan took 5-63 in 2nd innings for Bangladesh (Source: ©AFG/Getty Images)

Mehidy Hasan Miraz’s 5/63

Mehidy Hasan Miraz proved to be the thorn in flesh for India, right since the ODI series earlier this month. He was looking to spoil India’s party on the fourth day’s play. He was easily the best bet Bangladesh had to win their first ever Test against India. He started well on the fourth day’s morning, removing Axar Patel bowled for 34. He then dismissed the dangerous Rishabh Pant for 9 to bag a five-wicket haul.


Miraz could have had his sixth wicket in Ashwin if Mominul Haque had grabbed a simple catch off his bowling. Nevertheless, Miraz was the go-to man for Bangladesh on the fourth day ahead of experienced Shakib Al Hasan, and it speaks volumes of Miraz’s growing stature in international cricket.



What’s Next

India will play a four-match Test series against Australia and must win at least three of those games to stay in the race for the WTC final, ending with a healthy 62.5 PCT. If they lose two out of four against Australia, then their PCT would drop to 56.94 and their fate would depend on how Sri Lanka and South Africa fare in their remaining games. If India win two and draw two out of four Tests, they would still be in a better position to make it to the final ahead of other teams.


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