CHATTOGRAM [Bangladesh]: Bangladesh openers stood tall to deny the Indian bowlers wickets as they forged an unbeaten partnership to take their team to 119 for no loss at lunch on the fourth day of the first test here at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chattogram.
Bangladesh could not have had a better start to the day as openers Najmul Hossain Shanto 64(143) and Zakir Hasan 55(109) remained unbeaten at the end of the first session.
The batters played with a high level of resilience on a pitch that had slowed significantly and made the Indian bowlers toil hard. Resuming the day from their overnight score of 42/0, the openers started watchfully, weary of the threat Indian spinners posed on a spin-friendly track.
As expected, India started with Kuldeep Yadav who bagged a fifer in the first inning and made life difficult for the Bangladeshi batters in the first inning. The team expected a similar performance from the spinner but the batters were up to the task and countered the chinaman skillfully.
Shanto and Zakir played with grit, patience and concentration on a pitch that had uneven bounce and brought up their individual fifties. The duo dug in to take Bangladesh to the three-figure mark.
The visitors will now feel the pressure to take the wickets as early as possible. Mohammed Siraj had a few words exchanged with the batting pair as they exchanged glares which made for excellent viewership.
India does not need to panic though as the hosts still have a mountain of runs to climb. Bangladesh still needs 394 runs to win and Kl Rahul will surely turn once again to the spim-duo of Kuldeep and Ashwin for wickets.
Earlier, Shubhman Gill's maiden Test ton followed by Cheteshwar Pujara's 19th Test century helped India set a 513-run target. In reply, Bangladesh were 42 for no loss at stumps on the third day of the first test.
Resuming post-tea session at 140/1 Shubman Gill didn't waste time on Friday and went on to score his maiden Test ton and India also crossed the 150-run mark. The duo of Gill and Pujara also notched up a 100-run stand for the second wicket.
Pujara went on to score his half-century in 87 balls with the help of four boundaries. The Gill-Pujara 113-run partnership ended as Gill was dismissed by Mehidy Hasan Miraz.
Virat Kohli joined Pujara to help India go past the 200-run mark. Pujara and Virat Kohli batted aggressively and scored a 50-run partnership off just 48 balls for the third wicket.
Pujara shifted gears and went on to score his 19th Test ton in just 130 balls. This was the Saurashtra lad's first after January 2019.
India went on to declare the second innings at 258/2 setting a massive 513-run target for the hosts. In reply, Bangladesh too gave a good fight as openers Najmul Hossain Shanto and Zakir Hasan scored 42 runs without the loss of any wicket as play ended on Friday.
India 404 (Cheteshwar Pujara 90, Shreyas Iyer 86; Mehidy Hasan Miraz 4-112) Bangladesh 150 (Mushfiqur Rahim 28, Mehidy Hasan Miraz 25; Kuldeep Yadav 5-40) vs India 258/2 declare (Shubman Gill 110, Cheteshwar Pujara 102*; Khaled Ahmed 1-51) Bangladesh 119/0 (Najmul Hossain Shanto 64, Zakir Hasan 55; Umesh Yadav 0-11)