Zaheer rips heart out of Bangla resistance
The hopes Bangladesh raised on Tuesday came crashing down within two hours on Wednesday. Zaheer Khan’s seven-wicket haul saw India sweep the two-match Test series with a 10-wicket win at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium, reports Nilankur Das.cricket Updated: Jan 28, 2010 00:22 IST
The hopes Bangladesh raised on Tuesday came crashing down within two hours on Wednesday. Zaheer Khan’s seven-wicket haul saw India sweep the two-match Test series with a 10-wicket win at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium.
Right through this tour, Bangladesh raised hopes with some individual efforts, but they kept losing focus and allowed India to get on top.
At Chittagong, the initiative seized by Shakib Al Hasan and Shahadat Hossain through their five-wicket hauls got neutralised by a poor batting performance. In the second innings, Mushfiqur Rahim’s fighting century was for a losing cause after the top order crumbled.
Here, Mahmudullah’s unbeaten 96 gave some respectability to the Bangladesh first innings and Tamim’s career-best 151 on Tuesday raised hopes of a fightback by the hosts.
For the first 20 overs of the fourth day, except for the sitter dropped by substitute Amit Mishra at long on off Shahadat, Bangladesh appeared to be coasting along. But no sooner had Harbhajan Singh accounted for the nightwatchman —Mishra making amends for the earlier miss — Bangladesh collapsed.
Pragyan Ojha had one turning away from Mohammad Ashraful and Mahendra Singh Dhoni took the edge.
After Shakib had got off the mark with a six over Ojha’s head, the left-arm spinner had the last laugh in the next over by getting the skipper caught by Gautam Gambhir at square leg off a low full toss.
Zaheer Khan’s reverse swing did the rest. In his last spell of nine balls he bagged four wickets without conceding a run.
Raqibul Hasan shouldered arms to be bowled, Murali Vijay took a diving catch to his left at slip to dismiss the in-form Mahmudullah and tailenders Shafiul Islam and Rubel Hossain had their stumps cart-wheeling.
Zaheer finished with a match-haul of 10, the Man-of-the-Match and Man-of-the-Series awards.
Even before the spectators could get a feel of what was unfolding before them, Bangladesh had one wicket left going to lunch.
The innings ended soon after at 312 and the Indian innings lasted just two deliveries. Two byes off Shakib signalled the end of the match.
“Players like Raqibul, Ashraful and me are not getting runs and probably we were a bit nervous. We are still looking for an answer as to why it’s always that one batsman getting runs in an innings. We have the players who are equipped to tackle the bowling and conditions but are unable to get two to three batsmen clicking together,” Shakib said later.