Fifers from pacers Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav and a classy ton from skipper Virat Kohli led India to a 2-0 series sweep as they thrashed Bangladesh by an innings and 46 runs in the historic Pink Ball Test at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. With this, India became the only team to register four consecutive wins by an innings and more. Also, this was their longest haul of seven consecutive wins in Test cricket.
After winning the toss, Bangladesh decided to bat first in their maiden Day-Night Test. However, with the pink cherry in their hands, Indian pacers were too good to handle for Bangladesh, who were bundled out for 106 in their first innings. In response to Bangladesh’s first innings total, India declared their first innings at 347/9 for a lead of 241 runs, thanks to an elegant century by skipper Virat Kohli (136 off 194) and decent half centuries by Cheteshwar Pujara (55 off 105) and Ajinkya Rahane (51 off 69).
Chasing India’s first innings lead of 241, Bangladesh had a disastrous start against the likes of Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav, who were moving the ball by a mile, and lost their top four for just 13 runs. With Bangladesh reeling at 13-4, experienced Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah led their team’s mini fight back by stitching a 105-run partnership for the fifth wicket before the later got retired hurt.
With Bangladesh resuming their second innings at 152 for six on day three and trailing India by 89 runs, Indian pacers didn’t allow the tailenders lurking around for a long and finished things off in less than 50 minutes. Barring Mushfiqur Rahim (74 off 96) and Mahmudullah (39 off 41), Bangladesh batsmen were once again found wanting against high quality pace bowling, folding up for 195 in 41.1 overs.
Ishant Sharma was adjudged player of the match for his impressive figures of 22/5 in the first innings and 56/4 in the second. He was also given the man of the series award. "Shami told me to give him whatever I'm carrying in my pocket (laughs). We enjoy each others' success as fast bowlers. I'm just hitting the right areas and sticking to my plans. When we started, it didn't swing and last night it swung and we adjusted to the conditions very well," Ishant said during the post-match show.
Eden Gardens played the perfect host for the historic game with packed crowds on all three days bringing back memories of the times when Test cricket was more popular. However, the lack of competition on the field was nowhere close to the hype surrounding the game. The SG pink ball, which had not been tested in a competitive game before the big game, expectedly assisted India's lethal pace attack which took all the wickets on offer. An evidence of their menacing form was the amount of concussion subs Bangladesh had to use after the batsmen received heavy blows.
With the resounding innings and 46-run victory against Bangladesh, India also extended their lead in the World Test Championship by collecting 120 points from the two-match series. India had hammered Bangladesh by an innings and 130 runs in the series opener in Indore. With seven out of seven wins, India stands at number 1 in the points table with 360 points, followed by Australia at distant number 2 with 116 points.
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