Friday 18 May 2007 

Tendulkar And Ganguly Put India On Top

An unbroken 163 run 4th wicket partnership between Sachin Tendulkar and Saurav Ganguly put India in the driving seat at the end of first day at Chittagong Divisional Stadium.

The pair, who have 228 Test caps between them, propelled India to a commanding 295/3 after Bangladesh gave some early scares to the experienced Indian batting line-up. Bad light resulted only 77 overs of play as Bangladesh struggled to maintain the required over rate.

Sachin Tendulkar was not out on 80 off 137 balls (7x4), while Sourav Ganguly was more prolific and finished unbeaten on 82 off 132 deliveries (10x4, 2x6).

Bangladesh picked up two quick wickets after lunch and reduced India to 132/3, but Tendulkar and Ganguly took charge in the remaining overs and denied Bangladesh on a flat batting track. Tendulkar was lucky to survive a close LBW shout early on in his innings. He was struck in front of the stump by Mohammad Rafique and the replay suggested the ball was heading towards the middle stump, but umpire Billy Doctrove had different thoughts.

On the other hand, Sourav Ganguly reminded viewers of his old days with a classy innings of 82. He chanced his arms against spinners and lofted them over the in-field on a couple of occasions, which resulted in maximums. Ganguly played the slow left arm spinners with command and punished anything short of length.

The pitch was flat and dry and offered no assistance to the bowlers on a hot and humid day in Chittagong. Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar used seven bowlers to break the partnership but all his efforts were futile. Bangladesh failed to pick up a single wicket in the third session of play which saw 114 runs in quick time.

Earlier, India captain Rahul Dravid won the toss and made no hesitation to bat first on a batting paradise. Mashrafe Mortaza picked up the wicket of Wasim Jaffer with the very first ball of the match when Wasim Jaffer shouldered arms to a ball that pitched fractionally outside the off and came in a touch to hit the top of off stump.

Bangladesh failed keep up the pressure after the dream start as Rahul Dravid and Dinesh Karthik frustrated Bangladesh and shared a 124 run partnership for the 2nd wicket. India were comfortably placed at 113-1 at lunch.

Bangladesh came back strongly after lunch and dismissed both Karthik and Dravid in quick succession. Karthik was first to go, after playing a brilliant 56 off 102 balls (8x4), he was caught at mid-off as he mistimed an attempted pull off a Mashrafe Mortaza bouncer.

Shahadat Hossain, Mashrafe’s new ball partner, struck immediately and removed the Indian skipper as Dravid edged an attempted cut shot to wicket-keeper Khaled Mashud. Dravid scored 61 runs off 99 balls and hammered eleven boundaries.

The rest of the day belonged India as their experienced pros punished Bangladeshi bowling to end the day with a superior position.

© Khondaker Mirazur Rahman
Bangladesh Editor