Bangladesh’s young openers Najmul Hossain Shanto and Zakir Hasan took the hosts to 42/0 at stumps on day three after Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara slammed centuries for India to set a target of 513 in the first Test at Chattogram on Friday.
After Kuldeep Yadav’s third five-wicket haul in his eighth Test helped India bowl out Bangladesh for 150 in the first innings, Gill hit a quick 110, his maiden century in the format, while Pujara smashed 102 not out, his fastest-ever hundred and first since January 2019, as the visitors declared their second innings at 258/2 in 61.4 overs.
Chasing 513, Shanto and Zakir did well to negotiate the tricky 12-over phase without much trouble, especially under fading light. There was some turn available for the Indian bowlers, but with the pitch slowing down considerably, the visitors will have to work hard for the next two days as Bangladesh are still behind by 471 runs with two full days left in the match.
Earlier, after a couple of quiet overs in the final session, Gill cut loose by dancing down the pitch and dispatching Litton Das for a huge six-over the long-on fence. He then brought out the reverse sweep against Mehidy Hasan Miraz for a boundary, before coming down the pitch and lofting the off-spinner over mid-on to get his maiden Test hundred in 147 balls.
In Mehidy’s next over, Gill would dance down the pitch and loft over long-on for six, but in a bid to get another six, he holed out to deep mid-wicket. In the same over, Pujara got his fifty by dancing down the pitch to loft him over mid-off for a boundary.
Pujara used his feet beautifully, coming down the pitch constantly to flick, paddle-sweep and loft over mid-on and mid-off against spinners. When Mehidy bowled short, he was quick to go on back-foot and punch through the right of mid-off and would bring out the sweep to collect two boundaries.
A short ball in from Yasir Ali was treated with a handsome pull through fine-leg by Pujara and when Taijul was brought back in the attack, he broke his Test century drought by dancing down the pitch again to whip past mid-on for a boundary, in a knock in which his last 52 runs came in just 43 balls, after getting his fifty in 86 balls.
Brief scores: India 404 in 133.5 overs and 258/2 declared in 61.4 overs (Shubman Gill 110, Cheteshwar Pujara 102 not out; Khaled Ahmed 1-51, Mehidy Hasan Miraz 1-82) lead Bangladesh 150 all out in 55.5 overs (Mushfiqur Rahim 28; Kuldeep Yadav 5-40) and 42 for no loss in 12 overs (Najmul Hossain Shanto batting 25, Zakir Hussain batting 17) by 512 runs