IND v BAN, 1st Test: Pujara, Iyer stitch unbeaten 62-run stand, take India to 174/4

Cheteshwar Pujara and Shreyas Iyer got India back on track against Bangladesh through an unbeaten 62-run stand to take the visitors to 174/4 in 56 overs at tea break.

Though India batted a little slower than in the first session, they managed to get back into the match in the second session. Despite Rishabh Pant’s counterattack being tamely ended by Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Iyer brought out his usual attacking shots against the spinners intermittently to be 41 not out, while Pujara was as solid as a rock in his unbeaten 42.

In the first over post lunch, wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan dropped Pujara’s catch off Ebadot Hossain despite him making a full stretch to his right. Pant carried on his good work from the first session, nailing pull and slash off backfoot, before slog-sweeping Mehidy over deep mid-wicket for six.

But on the very next ball, Mehidy had the last laugh as Pant went back to cheekily cut the ball, but the bottom edge took out his off-stump bail, as the mercurial left-hander fell four runs short of his half-century.

Iyer had a nervy start, evading slip through an edge rolling for a boundary. Hossain was troubling Pujara as Bangladesh applied brakes on the run-flow. But Pujara broke the shackles by punching nicely off Khaled Ahmed, followed by Iyer lofting over mid-on off Mehidy.

Three balls later, Mehidy didn’t give much width, but Iyer used his crease well to cut very well through point. Bangladesh continued to dry out the runs as the ball began to spin sharply for Mehidy and left-arm spinner Taijul Islam.

Iyer, after a quiet period, lofted inside-out over cover on a flighted ball from Shakib Al Hasan, before closing the session with a gorgeous drive through cover to get the second session in India’s favour.

Earlier, Pant’s counter-attack had taken India to 85/3 in 26 overs despite the fall of captain KL Rahul, Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli. While Rahul chopped onto his stumps off Khaled, Gill and Kohli were taken out by Taijul.

Brief Scores: India 174/4 in 56 overs (Rishabh Pant 46, Cheteshwar Pujara 42 not out; Taijul Islam 2/43, Khaled Ahmed 1/23) against Bangladesh

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