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Bad light interrupts India’s strong fightback at Chittagong

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Sachin Tendulkar ChittagongBangladesh seems to have squandered away the advantage of putting India on the mat at 213 for 8 on the first day. Though India could end up with only 243, Bangladesh slipped into a shaky position at 59 for 3 on a short day of cricket at a murky Chittagong. The Indian pacers – Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma appeared to be bowling at their best while getting the ball to reverse swing very early in the innings.

After a long delay of one and half hours due to foggy conditions, Sachin Tendulkar came out to play a beautiful cameo for his team. Unfortunately, he had the opportunity to face just the 26 balls this morning in which he scored 31 runs before India got bowled out. The Master brought up his 44th Test hundred which was an important one for his team and also personally for him with Ricky Ponting catching up quickly with 39 hundreds.

For the Bangladeshis, Shahadat Hossain and Shakib Al Hasan were the only bowlers operating this morning and both clinched their respective five wicket hauls. First it was Shahadat Hossain breaking the 9th wicket stand by forcing Ishant Sharma to edge an away going one angled from round the sticks. Shakib Al Hasan finished the Indian innings with a delivery outside leg stump to Sreesanth who got a leading edge in a flick shot. Such was the kind of turn that Shakib Al Hasan was generating that playing against it was no easy work on this pitch. The Indian innings lasted only 70.5 overs with Sachin Tendulkar being the saviour with an unbeaten 105 from 166 balls (with 11 fours and 2 sixes).

Bangladesh had just the 4 overs to bat before Lunch in which they got 21 runs on board without losing a wicket. Play didn’t start on time after lunch due to bad light but just after few moments it resumed and the two left handed openers – Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes batted confidently. The pair got their team past 50 and in the 15th over, India found their much needed breakthrough when Imrul Kayes (23) walked across his stumps for a flick but only to miss a full length inswinger from Zaheer Khan to get lbw. Three balls later, Ishant Sharma provided the double blow by forcing left handed Shahriar Nafees to edge one that pitched on middle and deviated away off the seam. VVS Laxman in the slips held onto a neat catch depsite the dark conditions.

An over after Nafees’ exit, a well set Tamim Iqbal seemed to have lost sight of the ball to a Zaheer Khan inswinger to lose his off stump. Tamim Iqbal (31) went back instead of coming forward to a good length delivery that came back and skidded through low to beat him for pace by the left armer. Bangladesh after 17 overs were at 59 for 3 and got a reprieve from the Umpires who offered them the light. Play never resumed after that in the rest of the two sessions! The day’s play saw only 24.5 overs of action!

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