Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Gambhir's ton takes India to safety

India totally dominated day 4 of the first test against Bangladesh.From their overnight score of 122/1,India made a mammoth 413/8 declared,giving the hosts a target of 415.The reason I used mammoth for 413 is because of the pitch.Many people started criticizing the Indians after the first day of the test.Having watched it myself,I felt the pitch was slow and not very batsmen friendly.Hence,I did not expect India to score too many.I was unable to watch the match after the 1st day,however,watching the highlights I felt India bowled well to restrict Bangladesh to 242.This meant,India had to play well in the second innings,else the World Number 1 team would be in a situation to lose a test match to a weak team.However,Indians batsmen responded in the right manner just like the way they have done in the past 18 to 24 months.India batted for a long time and gave Bangladesh a target of 415.It meant,India was playing safe and they backed their bowlers to do the job in about 100 overs,if permitted by conditions.Gautam Gambhir continued his supreme form and smashed his 5th century in 5 consecutive test matches.The other Delhi lad Virender Sehwag also made 45.Nightwatchmen Amit Mishra batted really well to make a deserving 50.VVS Laxman was unbeaten on 69 when India declared.This gave India 18 overs to have a go at the hosts.India managed to pick two wickets of Imrul Kayes and Shahriar Nafees.Zaheer Khan got opener Kayes early for just 1 as Bangladesh lost their first wicket in the 3rd over.Tamim Iqbal who has almost always has been impressive after his knock against India in World Cup 2007,batted very sensibly.He stuck to the basics and showed good temperament and determination.Nafees,on the other hand,looked totally out of touch.His innings was full of nervous shots and uncomfartable throughout.The lefty was dismissed by Ishant Sharma.At the end of the day's play,Bangladesh were 67/2.Mohammed Ashraful was batting on 16,while Iqbal looked steady at 23.With another 348 runs to go,it could be a draw if Bangladesh bat well.The chances of a Bangladesh win look very less and it would be among the greatest achievements of the team if at all they achieve it.However,India will be pushing for victory and confident.Bangladesh Skipper Shakib Al Hasan said later that they were looking to win.I think it was just a way of boosting their morals and sending across a message to the opposition,that they would be playing positive cricket.But,that practically seems very tough.Meanwhile,will India have enough time to get the required 8 wickets..?That question will be answered tommorrow itself.

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