By Qaiser Mohammad Ali
Dhaka : A far superior India defeated Bangladesh by an innings and 239 runs with over two days to spare in the second and final Test to win the rain-affected series 1-0 here Sunday.
India Saturday declared their first innings at 610 for three wickets and Bangladesh made 118 and 253 after being forced to follow-on to lose inside of three days.
India had also won the One-day International (ODI) series 2-0.
Bangladesh pacer Mashrafe Mortaza top-scored for his team with 70 (68 balls, 8x4s, 3x6s) while Mohammad Ashraful, who made the world's fastest half-century (in 26 minutes), came second best with 67 (41 balls, 12x4s, 2x6s).
It was the fifth Test between the two countries and India have won four of them. The first match of this series in Chittagong ended in a rain-affected draw.
Starting their second innings 492 runs behind India's total, the Bangladeshi batsmen showed no keenness to stay at the wicket and inexplicably went for their shots.
Continuing his fine bowling in the first innings, pacer Zaheer Khan struck with the first ball of the second innings. He had opener Javed Omar caught by wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for nought again to bag the 'king of pair' tag.
Omar was unlucky to be given out as television replays showed his bat had not touched the ball.
Ten runs later, Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar (5) marched back to the pavilion after giving a catch to Dravid at mid-on off Khan. At the same score, Shahriar Nafees (4) was also out, caught by a diving Dhoni off left-arm pacer Rudra Pratap Singh.
At this stage it looked like the match would be over soon as the Bangladeshi batsmen failed to show the zeal for fight. But Ashraful joined Rajin Saleh and the two occupied the crease for a meaningful stand of 81.
It was, however, baffling to see Ashraful go for his shots when the situation demanded occupation of the crease. In one over of Khan, he hit a four and then sent the next ball over square leg for six. Khan conceded 13 runs in that over and was removed from the attack.
In the next over from debutant Ishant Sharma, Ashraful smashed 14 runs, including three boundaries.
During this over, Ashraful, playing his 35th match, reached his seventh half-century just in 27 minutes and at an amazing strike rate of 196.2. His 50 contained nine boundaries and two sixes.
It was the fastest half-century in 112 years of Test cricket in terms of time taken. England's John Thomas Brown had smashed his 50 in 28 minutes during the fifth Test against Australia in Melbourne in March 1895.
The adventurous Ashraful played one shot too many and was finally caught by Sachin Tendulkar at short mid wicket off Kumble.
The entire Bangladeshi approach to batting was baffling. The team's first 50 had come off 52 balls but the next one needed a mere 37, as they touched the 100-run mark in 40.1 overs. It seemed as if they were playing a one-dayer.
Saleh (42, 46 balls, 8x4s) was involved in another meaningful stand for the fifth wicket with Sakibul Hasan. They added 44 runs but never looked comfortable against an aggressive Indian attack, though it was not always backed by sharp fielding.
Saleh got a 'life' at 40 when Sharma ran backwards to take the catch but failed to hold on to a difficult chance off Ramesh Powar. The miss did not prove costly as two balls later Sourav Ganguly caught him at mid-wicket off the off-spinner.
After the tea interval, wickets continued falling at regular intervals. Sakibul (15, 64 balls, 1×4) added just two runs to his score – and Bangladesh three * before giving Dravid an easy catch off Powar. Bangladesh were now reeling at 150 for six. Soon after that the reliable Khaled Mashud was also dismissed. After occupying the crease for nearly an hour for his eight runs, he suddenly stepped out against Powar but missed the length and spooned a simple catch to Tendulkar at short mid-on.
The last resistance came from the Sharif-Mashrafe Mortaza pair, who defied the redominantly Indian spin attack for over an hour. They raised 54 priceless runs for the eighth wicket before Sharif (17, 56 balls, 2x4s) fell to Kumble's guile, offering him a return catch.
A Tendulkar full toss accounted for Mohammad Rafique. Mortaza was the last man to go when he miscued a sweep to give Dhoni an easy catch off Tendulkar.
Earlier, the day began with Bangladesh resuming their first innings at 58 for five with Sakibul (30) and Sharif (0) at the crease. The innings lasted 101 minutes and 21.2 overs, yielding a mere 118.
It was a combination of some good bowling by Khan and Singh and the batsmen's penchant for playing shots.
Sakibul (30, 47 balls, 4x4s) lasted only two balls as Khan won a leg-before-wicket verdict. Sharif and the experienced Mashud then occupied the crease only briefly before Kumble had the former leg before the wicket for 13.
At 85 for seven, Bangladesh were facing an uphill task to avoid the follow-on.
Then Sharma, who replaced an injured Munaf Patel, took his maiden Test wicket with the second ball of his sixth over. He had Mortaza (2) caught by Kumble at gully.
Bangladesh broke the psychological barrier of 100 in 30.3 overs. Ten runs later, Khan struck again and castled Rafique for his fifth wicket of the innings. It was the fourth five-wicket haul in his 47th match.
Rasel would have gone with the addition of eight runs had Karthik at short leg not dropped him off Powar. Mashud (25, 64 balls, 2x4s) was the last man to be out.
With this wicket, Kumble took his wicket tally to 550 in his 115th match. He became only the fourth bowler in Test history to reach that mark.
Bangladesh finished 492 runs short of India's 610 for three, and were expectedly asked to follow on.
Third Day, Second Test, India vs. Bangladesh,
Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Dhaka
India (1st innings): 610/3 declared
Bangladesh (1st innings, overnight 58/5 wickets):
Javed Omar c Karthik b Khan 0
Shahriar Nafees b Khan 2
Habibul Bashar c Dhoni b R.P. Singh 4
Rajin Saleh c Jaffer b Kumble 20
Mohammad Ashraful lbw b 0
Shakibul Hasan lbw b Khan 30
Mohammad Sharif lbw b Kumble 13
Khaled Mashud c Dhoni b Kumble 25
Mashrafe Mortaza c Kumble b Sharma 2
Mohammad Rafique b Khan 12
Syed Rasel not out 2
Extras: (lb 2, nb 6) 8
Total: (in 37.2 overs) 118
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Omar, 0.1 over), 2-5 (Bashar, 1.4), 3-7 (Nafees, 2.2), 4-7 (Ashraful, 2.3), 5-40 (Saleh, 10.4), 6-58 (Shakibul, 16.2), 7-85 (Sharif, 25.5), 8-93 (Mortaza, 28.2), 9-110 (Rafique, 32.5)
Zaheer Khan 10 1 34 5 (2nb)
Rudra Pratap Singh 9 2 28 1
Anil Kumble 9.2 3 32 3
Ishant Sharma 7 1 19 1 (4nb)
Ramesh Powar 2 1 3 0
Bangladesh (2nd innings):
Javed Omar c Dhoni b Khan 0
Shahriar Nafees c Dhoni b R.P. Singh 4
Habibul Bashar c Dravid b Khan 5
Rajin Saleh c Ganguly b Powar 42
Mohammad Ashraful c Tendulkar b Kumble 67
Shakibul Hasan c Dravid b Powar 15
Khaled Mashud c Tendulkar b Powar 8
Mashrafe Mortaza c Dhoni b Tendulkar 70
Mohammad Sharif c & b Kumble 17
Mohammad Rafique lbw b Tendulkar 11
Syed Rasel not out 1
Extras: (lb 1, w 3, nb 9) 13
Total: (all out in 57.3 overs) 253
Fall of wickets: 1/0 (Omar, 0.1 over), 2-10 (Bashar, 2.5), 3-10 (Nafees, 3.5), 4-91 (Ashraful, 12.6), 5-135 (Saleh, 19.6), 6-150 (Shakibul, 33.5), 7-154 (Mashud, 35.3), 8-208 (Sharif, 50.3), 9-223 (Rafique, 53.4)
Zaheer Khan 8 1 54 2 (nb 4)
Rudra Pratap Singh 6 1 28 1
Ishant Sharma 6 1 30 0 (nb 1)
Anil Kumble 15 1 72 2 (nb 4)
Ramesh Powar 16 4 33 3 (w 1)
Sachin Tendulkar 6.3 1 35 2
Result: India won by an innings and 239 runs
Umpires: Daryl Harper (Australia) and Billy Doctrove (West Indies)
TV umpire: Nadir Shah (Bangladesh)
Reserve umpire: Monzur Rahman (Bangladesh)
Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (Sri Lanka)