Ravichandran Ashwin and Shreyas Iyer showed composure to lead India to a dramatic three-kick victory over Bangladesh in the second Test at Mirpur on Sunday.
The visitors looked dejected at 74-7 after running after 145 after Mehidy Hasan picked up his fifth wicket. But Iyer (29 not out) received great support from Ashwin (42 not out) who kept spinners Bangladesh at bay before going on the attack to seal a 2-0 series win, which increased their chances of making it to the Test World Championship final in June.
Bangladesh dominated the game in the first hour and captain Shakib Al Hasan took out night watchman Jaydev Unadkat, who hit a six in the first pass but fell in the next after scoring 13.
Mehidy then trapped dangerous man Rishabh Pant in the leg for nine before knocking out night beater Axar Patel for 34.
The ball stayed low and offered a tight turn. The last recognized pair of drummers, Iyer and Ashwin, had their work cut out for them. And at a crucial moment, India received a lifeline.
Ashwin was dropped by Mominul Haque on a short leg shot before gaining confidence, while Iyer looked solid against the spin at the other end of the field.
After their three fours in two overs, Bangladesh were forced to introduce pacers into the attack, but to no avail.
Ashwin, who was named Player of the Match, brought India closer to a six after Mehidy changed his bowling game and concluded the contest with two more limits.
« We’ve played enough cricket to realize that someone is going to raise their hand to win us the game, » said India captain KL Rahul.
« But I’m not going to lie, there was a lot of tension in the dressing room. It was a tough wicket to beat, they put us under pressure in both sets. It was all about who played the new ball better. We lost a few more wickets than ideal. [in the chase] but we did the job. »
Bangladesh were hoping to even the two-game series after winning the ODI game 2-1. Captain Shakib congratulated both teams on their fight.
« Credit goes to Shreyas and Ashwin, they soaked up the pressure well and built a partnership, » he said.
“We had around 70 races to play, we only needed one wicket. You can think of many ifs and buts, but I’m proud of the way we fought. We had our moments this year, but I hope next year will be much better for Bangladesh. »
This victory allowed India to consolidate its position in the WTC table. They are second to leaders Australia, with the top two teams at the end of the cycle meeting in the final.
Bangladesh was knocked out for 227 in the first inning, after opting to strike first. India however completed 314 laps to take an 87 lap lead. The home side again played poorly and were beaten for 231 in the second round, setting India a target of 145 rounds.
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