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Bangla openers do a la India batsmen

cricket Updated: Jan 18, 2010 23:38 IST
Nilankur Das
Nilankur Das
Hindustan Times
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As on Sunday, a thick blanket of haze covered the city, leading to a delay of more than one-and-a-half hours. But unlike the first day of the opening Test, the sun did not make an appearance and the wind made it colder than it actually was.

Only an hour of play was possible in the first phase and another 51 minutes in the subsequent sessions. To make things worse, the Met Office has predicted more haze and even some rain on Tuesday.

With the hours lost piling up by the day, the chances of a result are slowly getting reduced. Bangladesh had said a draw would be a great result and with some more help from the weather, it could well turn out that way.

The high point of Monday came very early. Sachin Tendulkar, 24 short of his 44th Test century, quickly reached the triple-mark, 23 minutes after the start of play.

Taking most of the strike and shielding Ishant Sharma by refusing singles except on the last balls of the over, the

master blaster scored every time the erratic Shahadat Hossain offered width. After a day of restraint on Sunday, Tendulkar reached out for the balls and hit them over the infield.

He had just six boundaries and a six in almost the whole of Sunday. In the 37 minutes India batted on the second morning, Tendulkar hit five fours and a six. Seeing Shakib Al Hasan giving one a little air, he danced down the wicket and lofted him straight back.

The hundred came up with a punch to the backward point boundary.

Both Shakib and Shahadat completed their five-wicket hauls, the sixth for the skipper and third for the medium-pacer. Tendulkar remained unbeaten on 105 as India posted 243 in their first innings.

The conditions were overcast and the new ball did move around a bit, but Bangladesh began well. Both Tamim Iqbal and Imran Kayes stuck to the task of leaving balls outside off-stump and latched on to the loose ones.

Though there were some typical one-day shots on show, they did manage to push the medium-pace trio of Zaheer Khan, Sreesanth and Ishant on the back foot initially.

But after lunch, like the India batsmen, they underestimated the conditions. With the cloud cover and wind, even a slight lapse of concentration could tilt the balance in the bowlers’ favour. The openers began to play their shots and fell for Zaheer’s bait.

Getting the ball to come back to the left-handers, Zaheer first had Kayes trapped in front and then sent Iqbal's stumps
cartwheeling.

Ishant chipped in at the other end to send back Shahriar Nafees and Bangladesh were reduced to 59 for three before play was called off at 4:39 local time.

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