IND v BAN, 1st Test: Pujara, Iyer smash fifties, carry India to 278/6 despite Taijul three-fer

Cheteshwar Pujara and Shreyas Iyer smashed half-centuries to carry India from 48/3 to 278/6 at stumps on day one of first Test against Bangladesh at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, here on Wednesday.

In the first session, Bangladesh had taken out Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, and Virat Kohli to reduce India to 48/3 before Pujara and Rishabh Pant (46) led the recovery through a 64-run stand. But once Pant fell in the second session, Pujara joined hands with Iyer to lead India’s recovery with a 149-run stand off 317 balls for the fifth wicket.

Though Pujara would fall ten runs short of his century as left-arm spinner Taijul Islam took him out to complete his three-wicket haul after beating him several times in the day, Iyer remained unbeaten on 82 off 169 balls on an absorbing day of Test cricket.

Pujara began the final session with a handsome cut through cover on width offered by Ebadot Hossain. Taijul Islam troubled Shreyas Iyer, but as Ebadot returned, he brought out an authoritative drive off the front-foot. Pujara cashed on Taijul’s short balls to hit successive fours, first of which got him his fifty.

Three overs later, Iyer pulled Shakib Al Hasan through mid-wicket to notch up his fifty with a boundary. After Taijul beat him on the outer edge, Iyer danced down the pitch on the very next ball to lift over wide mid-on for four, before whipping Mehidy Hasan Miraz with disdain over mid-wicket.

Pujara pulled and flicked, used his feet well and was supple in his wrists usage to surge ahead as luck started to favour India. Iyer was dropped on 67 by Ebadot at deep mid-wicket. In the fourth over after taking the new ball, Ebadot had bowled Iyer by beating him on outer edge. But the bails despite being lit had not been dislodged.

Bangladesh had success in the next over as Taijul turned it just enough from middle-and-off stump line to beat the outside edge of Pujara and knock off the off-stump, sending the batter back for 90 off 203 balls.

Mehidy followed it up with a wicket on the last ball of the day by trapping Axar Patel lbw, going past the inner edge to hit him plumb in front of stumps on the back pad as Bangladesh ended day one on a high.

Brief Scores: India 278/6 in 90 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 90, Shreyas Iyer 82 not out; Taijul Islam 3/84, Mehidy Hasan Miraz 2/71) against Bangladesh

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