NEW DELHI: Bangladesh fought valiantly on the fifth and final day of the Hyderabad Test but it wasn’t enough to stop one of the most successful home Test bowling pairs of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja from leaving a telling impact. They combined to snuff out eight Bangladesh wickets, dismissing the visitors for 250 in their second innings and win the one-off Test by a comprehensive 208-run margin.
The other two wickets went to Ishant Sharma, who bowled his heart out to pick up two important wickets in the second session. Once that was done, Bangladesh lost their final four wickets for 37 runs. India took their unbeaten streak in Test matches to 20. India have now won six consecutive series since Sri Lanka in 2015 – their best streak ever. They had won 5 in a row between 2008 and 2010.
Resuming the day on 103/3, once again Bangladesh’s hope of not losing an early wicket was dented by Jadeja in the third over itself. Bowling round the wicket, the ball pitched on one of the footmarks and took off to kiss Shakib Al Hasan’s glove and was taken by Cheteshwar Pujara at short leg. With plenty of turn and bounce on offer, Virat Kohli brought in five close-in fielders around the bat.
Fresh off a century in the first innings, Mushfiqur began cautiously before deciding to move his feet to Ashwin. In the past, batsmen have been found guilty of playing him on the backfoot so perhaps Mushfiqur had a plan in mind. When he hit a sublime cover drive for four off him the ploy seemed to have begun well. But two balls later, Mushfiqur offered a leading edge and threw his wicket away. Credit must also go to Jadeja for constantly bowling at Mushfiqur’s pads and frustrate him.
At the other end, as India applied pressure through Ishant and Umesh Yadav’s reverse, Mahmudullah held his ground. He scored his first boundary off the 46th delivery faced and even that was an edge after Ishant had squared him up outside off. But with the wicket of Mushfiqur, Mahmudullah opted to get a move on. He did so by skipping down to Jadeja and sending him for successive boundaries in the 50th over.
Another streaky four past the slips brought up Mahmudullah’s fifty, while Sabbir Rahman plundered a six and a four to remain not out on 16. A few quick boundaries were scored which took Bangladesh’s tally for the session to 99 runs. As India have regularly done in the match, they struck again right at the beginning of a session, this time thanks to a lively spell from Ishant. He bowled with pace, control and aggression, and first, took out Sabbir out leg-before – a referral going against the batsman, before bouncing out the only threat between India and win, Mahmudullah.
That was the beginning of the slide. The eighth wicket stand between Mehedi Hasan and Kamrul Islam Rabbi frustrated India, scoring 17 runs in 14 overs and a catch going down, before Jadeja dented them further with the new ball, seeing the back of a defiant Mehedi for 23. The amount of drift Jadeja and Ashwin received was too good for the Bangladesh lower-order.
Brief scores: India 687/6 decl. and 159/4 beat Bangladesh 388 all out and 250 all out (Mahmudullah 64; Ashwin 4/73) by 208 runs.