Mirpur: A dogged 71-run stand between Shreyas Iyer and R Ashwin came to India’s rescue as the visitors fought back from a hopeless situation to pull off a three-wicket win over Bangladesh in the second Test and clinch the series 2-0 here on Sunday.
With India at 74 for seven chasing 145, Bangladesh were on course for their first ever Test win against their formidable neighbours before Iyer (29 not out off 46) and Aswhin (42 not out off 62) denied them with an unbeaten 71-run stand off 105 balls.
Off-spinner Mehidy Hazan Miraz (5/63) gave his all on way to a five wicket haul but it did not prove to be enough.
The come-from-behind win meant India wrapped up the series 2-0 to strengthen their chances of a second straight final appearance in the World Test Championship.
Bangladesh spinners were all over the Indians after the start of play on Sunday. Resuming the innings at 45 for four, India lost Jaydev Unadkat (13) in the second over of the day.
After slog sweeping Miraz for a six, Unadkat was caught plumb in front of the stumps with a slider from Shakib Al Hasan. Unadkat took the review in desperation but ended up wasting it.
India’s crisis man Rishabh Pant walked into the middle and tried to put the pressure back on the opposition with his counter attacking approach. The southpaw had changed the course of the first innings with his 93 but fell for nine on this occasion with Miraz trapping him leg before.
It became 74 for seven when a well set Axar Patel (34) became Miraz’s fifth wicket. It was the straighter one again that thud into his pads before clipping the leg stump.
India were staring at their maiden defeat against Bangladesh before Iyer and Ashwin provided a ray of hope with a gritty stand.
The duo was happy to preserve their wicket initially before Iyer changed the momentum with back-to-back boundaries off Shakib in the 41st over.
Miraz offered a loose ball in the following over and Iyer was quick to make room and punch it through cover for another boundary.
Bangladesh resorted to pace in their bid to break the stand but the plan did not work. Ashwin, who was dropped at short leg on one, collected a couple of boundaries off right arm seamer Khaled Ahmed to bring the target down to just 26 runs.
Miraz was brought into the attack as the last throw of dice but Aswhin pulled him for a six before back-to-back boundaries, sealing the win for the visitors.
Despite the win, India have a lot of thinking to do going into the home series against Australia. The form of the top-order is a big concern.
India dropping Kuldeep Yadav after his five wicket haul in the previous game also became a big talking point of the game.