Bangladesh bowlers fought hard to keep Bangladesh alive in the first Test of the GrameenPhone series against India on day two which was marred by rain and wet outfield.
India lost 3 wickets in the days play and added 89 runs to their overnight score of 295/3, as wet outfield, caused by overnight shower and early morning drizzle, allowed only 20 overs play on the second day at Chittagong Divisional Stadium on Saturday.
However, the day will be remembered for two brilliant centuries from two legends of Indian cricket, Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar. It was the first Test century for Ganguly in two years time and he continues his impressive comeback to the Indian Test squad. He smashed 304 runs in seven innings at an average of 52.33, since his return to Test cricket in December 2006.
Surprisingly enough, both the experienced pros, Tendulkar and Ganguly, perished in similar fashion, just after reaching the century mark.
Ganguly was first to go after sharing a record 189 run 4th wicket partnership with Tendulkar. He received an awkward bouncer from Shahadat Hossain to complete his 13th Test century and was dismissed in the very next over without adding any more runs. Ganguly was hurried to a short of length ball from Mashrafe Mortaza, and the miscued pull could only reach the hands of Mohammad Rafique at mid off.
Tendulkar followed the footsteps of Ganguly, and played with extreme caution to reach his record 36th Test century. A rare lapse of concentration from the little genius saw the ball ballooned in the air when he tried to cut loose after reaching the century. The shot was identical to that of Ganguly, this time the bowler was Shahadat Hossain.
Ganguly smashed thirteen boundaries and 2 sixes in his 165 ball 100 while Sachin Tendulkar in his gritty hundred struck only six boundaries and laboured 51 singles.
Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar turned to the spinners as light was fading quickly and veteran Mohammad Rafique cleaned up debutant Ramesh Powar cheaply to celebrate his first wicket in the Test.
A brisk 36 off 35 balls from Mahendra Singh Dhoni kept the scoreboard ticking, but Bangladesh is right back in the match as India finished day two on 384/6 with only bowlers left to extend the first innings total.
Mashrafe Mortaza was the pick of the Bangladeshi bowlers and grabbed 3 wickets for 95 runs on an unfriendly surface while his new ball partner Shahdat Hossain bagged 2 wickets for 75 runs. Mohmmad Rafique was the only spinner to take a wicket on a pitch that was expected to suit slow bowlers.
Earlier, wet outfield took the centre stage, as grounds men worked hard to make the field ready to play for most part of the day. The sun was out but overnight rain created some patchy areas in the outfield of the newly built stadium. After three bouts of inspections, umpires finally decided to start the play at 4:30 PM local time allowing only 20 overs cricket on the second day.
According to revised playing condition, play will start 30 minutes earlier for the remaining three days to compensate the lost time.