Published: January 18, 2010
Skipper Shakib Al Hasan and Shahadat Hossain equally shared eight wickets as Bangladesh pulled something special out of the ordinary on the first day of the opening Test against India at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here yesterday.
The collective efforts of the two Tigers backed by some spirited fielding saw the vaunted Indian batting line-up collapse to 213-8 by stumps, an achievement Bangladesh would certainly relish especially after the harsh comment made by stand-in India captain Virender Sehwag who termed his opponents ‘ordinary’ the other day.
It could have been a complete dominance of the Tigers against the number one Test side had master batsman Sachin Tendulkar not stood in the way with a resolute 76 not out.
However Bangladesh could have finished the day with more satisfaction had a miscued pull from Tendulkar was grabbed by one of the three fielders in the last over before the batsman complained of bad light and the umpires called it a day after 63 overs.
Still, the Bangladeshi bowlers proved that they had the ability to pull off a surprise even in the longer-version with limited resources.
Tendulkar also survived a close call early in his inning courtesy of Imrul Kayes, who failed to grasp the ball at first slip when the right-hander was on 16.
The morning however hardly showed what followed as Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir gave India a flying start after Shakib won the toss and decided to bowl in trying conditions after the match started one and a half hours behind the schedule due to dense fog.
Runs came thick and fast with Sehwag batting in his usual style and they went for a happy lunch with the scoreboard reading 63 without loss, but things changed dramatically from the second over of the second session.
Shakib gave the much-needed breakthrough sending back the dangerman Sehwag, who smashed nine boundaries to make 52 off 51 balls, to open the door for Shahadat who dismissed Gambhir (23) and Rahul Dravid (4) in quick succession.
The crisis deepened for India when VVS Laxman was intelligently stumped by Mushfiqur Rahim and Yuvraj Singh offered a simple catch to Rubel Hossain at mid on and on both occasions the bowler was Shakib. India lost half their wickets for 149 runs and the tail was quickly exposed when Shahadat got the last recognised batsman Dinesh Kartik, who was brilliantly caught by Rokibul Hasan at silly point and India went for tea at 160 for six.
Shahadat captured his fourth wicket trapping Amit Mishra, who came in for injured spinner Harbhajan Singh, and finished with four for 51 in 14 overs while Zaheer Khan could not capitalise on his chance as he was dropped by debutant Shafiul at point.
Shakib later took the wicket of Zaheer to take his fourth wicket. He returned figures of four for 52 in 26 overs.
In the Indian innings, the only resistance came from Tendulkar, who achieved another milestone by scoring 13,000 runs as the only batsman in the world to reach the mark.
Sachin struck six fours and a six during his unbeaten 140-ball 76.