Ashwin, Kuldeep push India to 348/7 at lunch

Chattogram, Dec 15 (PTI) Indian lower-order, led by veteran Ravichandran Ashwin, held the fort to take them to a stiff 348 for seven at lunch on day 2 of the opening Test against Bangladesh here on Thursday.

Resuming on 278 for 6, India lost a well-set Shreyas Iyer (86) in the eighth over of the day when Ebadot Hossain broke thorough the batter’s gate with a ball that sharply cut back in.

Having batted India out of a tricky spot on the opening day, Iyer once again failed to get to a well-deserved hundred and got out with addition of just four runs to his overnight total.

Iyer’s innings lasted 192 balls in which he slammed 10 fours. His dismissal prolonged the wait for his second Test century. Iyer had slammed a hundred in his debut Test in November last year.

Once Iyer was back to the pavillion, Ashwin and Kuldeep batted sensibly to see through the first session with an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 55 runs off 132 balls that gave India the upper hand.

Ashwin, who has five Test centuries including four against the West Indies, was unbeaten on 40 off 81 balls (2×4, 1×6), while Kuldeep was batting on 21 from 76 balls (3×4) during the break.

Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan mostly employed his star spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz to go in tandem with pacer Khaled Ahmed but Ashwin hardly looked in any trouble.

He made his intent clear stepping down to Mehidy for a six. Luck also favoured Ashwin when he survived an ‘umpire’s call’ after left-arm spinner Taijul Islam had him trapped in front of the legstump when he was on 34.

That pace spearhead Ebadot Hossain was taken out of the attack after his impressive spell of 4-1-7-1 in the morning also helped the Indian cause.

Kuldeep also oozed confidence as Ashwin was happy to take singles and give him the strike.

Having survived a review in the 100th over, Kuldeep was at his resolute best even as the odd ball stayed low, while some short-pitch deliveries had awkward bounce.

Shakib also introduced part-time offspinner Najmul Shanto into the attack but the Indian duo held firm.

Source: PTI News


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