Kohli, Ishant put rampant India on verge of series sweep


  • Cricket
  • Saturday, 23 Nov 2019

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup Semi Final - India Press Conference - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - July 8, 2019 India's Virat Kohli during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff/

KOLKATA, India (Reuters) - India captain Virat Kohli embellished the pink-ball test with a sparkling century before his quick bowlers reduced Bangladesh to 152-6 in their second innings as the hosts closed on a 2-0 series sweep on day two of the second and final test on Saturday.

After India declared their first innings on 347-9 in their maiden day-night test, Bangladesh risked losing the match inside two days after slumping spectacularly to 14-4 in the seventh over.

But Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah, who made 39 before a hamstring injury forced him to retire hurt, batted resolutely to force a third day at Kolkata's Eden Gardens.

Bangladesh, dismissed for 106 in the first innings, still trail their hosts by 89 runs.

Ishant Sharma, who claimed 5-22 in the first innings, was the wrecker-in-chief in the second as well, returning 4-39 with an impeccable display of seam bowling.

Mushfiqur will resume on 59 on Sunday, hoping to continue the fight though India look set to seal their 12th consecutive home series victory.

India's top order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara was not surprised how his pace bowling team mates continued to torment Bangladesh.

"Our aim was very simple - to bowl to them in the right areas and try and make them play as many balls as possible," said Pujara.

"We know the ball is going to swing and it was important to control the swing and be accurate with our line and length."

Earlier, Kohli smashed a magnificent 136 and added 99 runs with Ajinkya Rahane who fell for a fluent 51.

The India captain cover-drove Ebadot Hossain to reach 99 and, with the crowd chanting his name, took two off spinner Taijul Islam to bring up his 27th test century, and 20th as captain.

He removed his helmet to soak up the applause, then continued the celebrations shortly afterwards by hitting Abu Jayed for four consecutive boundaries.

Ebadot dismissed Kohli when Taijul moved from deep square leg and hurled himself into the air to take a stunning catch.

Kohli hit 18 fours in his 194-ball vigil, outlasting the entire Bangladesh team who had folded in 30.3 overs in their first innings.

Armed with the heavily-lacquered ball, Ishant then mowed down the top order to put Bangladesh on the mat.

His second-innings victims included Mominul Haque, who made a nightmarish debut as Bangladesh's test captain, being dismissed for a duck in both innings.

Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah, however, refused to throw in the towel, displaying stomach for the fight that was lacking among their team mates.

"We're still 90-odd runs behind, tomorrow we'll try to avoid an innings defeat and make them bat again," Bangladesh quick Al-Amin Hossain said.

Bangladesh have had to call two concussion substitutes after Liton Das and Nayeem Hasan sustained nasty blows to the helmet in the first innings.

(Editing by Ed Osmond and Tony Lawrence)

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