India bat Bangladesh out of the match

At the end of day two, India has rather batted Bangladesh out of the second Test. The Indian batting juggernaut hammered the inexperienced and toothless Bangladesh bowling attack by piling 459 for 5 in reply to the hosts’ 233. Though the day is over, the toil will continue for Bangladesh on the third day when the visitors will look to stretch their 226-run lead to a match-winning one.

India’s authoritative reply was led by two of the greatest contemporary batsmen – Sachin Tendulkar (143) and Rahul Dravid (111 retired hurt). The maestros made a mockery of the bowling by notching up a mammoth double-century partnership (222) to build on the fine 100-run platform provided by the openers.

Virender Sehwag wielded his willow with might and smashed the cherry disdainfully to all parts of the ground during his knock of 56. The trademark extravagant square drives, the smacks down the ground, and fierce cuts fetched Sehwag his eight boundaries. The fireworks finally ended with a ripper of a delivery by Shahadat Hossain that took the batsman utterly by surprise with its bounce. Sehwag gloved it and the keeper did the rest.

Gautam Gambhir was solid and prolific during his 68-run knock. He extended his purple patch to score his 11th consecutive half-century in Tests – a feat achieved only by the legendary Sir Vivian Richards. He garnished his innings with some immaculately timed flicks and copybook cover drives.

Gambhir looked all set for his sixth straight ton in as many Tests, but it was Shafiul Islam’s perfectly directed bouncer that did him in. Much like his opening partner, Gambhir found himself completely out of position as he gloved the ball behind the wickets.

The short stuff continued to pose problems for Indian batsmen. Rubel Hossain caught Rahul Dravid in similar awkwardness as Junaid Siddique took a stunner, diving to his right. Dravid had already started the long walk back to the pavilion, but to his pleasant surprise, umpire Billy Bowden had signaled a no-ball.

After dismissing Dravid off a no-ball in the first session, agony piled on Rubel post-lunch when Raqibul Hasan dropped Tendulkar at the point. Rubel also sighed in despair as he saw the ball sneak through the gap between Tendulkar’s bat and stumps and run away to the fence.

Dravid and Tendulkar, like all great batsmen, made the opposition pay for the lapses, with a fine 222-run partnership. This was the 17th occasion when the two stalwarts of Indian cricket had added 100-plus runs in a Test – a world record.

Dravid’s unbeaten 111 had all the ingredients one would associate with his typical innings – the rock-solid defense, the gorgeous cover drives, the elegant leg glances, and the unwavering concentration. He also played a couple of flowing hits down the ground to bring up two of his 12 boundaries en route to his 29th Test century.

The only glitch in Dravid’s fine knock was his awkwardness against the short deliveries. After the lucky escape off Rubel’s bouncer, he was smacked on the helmet while ducking a short ball from Shahadat Hossain. The blow was hard and Dravid chose to retire to the pavilion.

Tendulkar was more adventurous, dealing in uppercuts and sweeps. He rode his luck throughout his knock, as catches were dropped and ill-connected shots didn’t carry to the fielders. Tendulkar scored most of his 13 boundaries on the leg side, with the help of paddle sweeps and leg glances.

Though this century, his 45th, did not have the master’s signature finesse, it still went a long way in building India’s innings. Tendulkar’s innings ended when he holed out at short mid-wicket off Shakib, after plundering the spinner for a six and a four down the ground.

Shakib backed Tendulkar’s wicket with that of Murali Vijay in his next over. Murali batted beautifully for his 30 runs, executing some classical cover drives and flick drives. In his attempt to up the ante, Vijay provided a simple catch to mid-on.

When the Indians were looking to score some quick runs, Shakib did well to put the breaks on, especially with hitters like MS Dhoni and Harbhajan at the crease. Impatience eventually got the better of Harbhajan and he lost his wicket in the last over of the day, trying to flash hard at a wide delivery from Shafiul Islam.

The Bangladesh fast bowlers bowled their hearts out, especially Shahadat Hossain, who made the batsmen play at most deliveries, bowling a good line and length. Rubel Hossain, despite being spurned by the Lady Luck bowled tirelessly for 23 overs.


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