REUTERS - Bangladesh fought back against India through half centuries from Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mehedi Hasan to reach 322 for six at the close of the third day’s play in the one-off test in Hyderabad on Saturday.
Bangladesh’s most experienced pair of Shakib and Mushfiqur added 107 for the fifth-wicket before the latter combined with the 19-year-old Mehedi for an unbroken seventh-wicket partnership of 87 to frustrate the hosts.
The visitors still face a steep task if they are to avoid the follow-on in response to India’s mammoth first innings total of 687-6 declared.
At stumps, captain Mushfiqur was unbeaten on 81 with Mehedi not out on 51, his maiden test fifty, at the other end with Bangladesh still needing 166 runs to make India bat again. The duo kept India wicketless for the entire third session.
After resuming on 41-1, the touring side suffered a major blow in just the third over of the day when Tamim Iqbal was run out on his overnight score of 24.
The left-handed opener was stranded near the middle of the pitch after a terrible mix-up with partner Mominul Haque while attempting a second run.
Paceman Umesh Yadav, who dismissed Soumya Sarkar on Friday, found enough reverse swing to trouble Bangladesh’s batsmen before he pinned down Mominul in front of the stumps to dismiss him leg before for 12.
Umesh continued to trouble Mahmudullah with his pace and movement but pace-bowling colleague Ishant Sharma reaped the benefit by dismissing the batsman leg before for 28 in his first over of the day.
Ishant, who replaced Umesh, beat Mahmudullah’s bat with an angled delivery and the batsman’s attempt to overturn the decision on review also proved futile.
Shakib then launched a counterattack against India’s bowlers and his 21st test fifty was studded with 14 boundaries in a knock that came off 103 balls.
The left-hander was out caught trying to loft off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, the world’s top-ranked bowler in tests, over mid-off.
Ashwin’s left-arm spin colleague Ravindra Jadeja then dismissed Sabbir Rahman for 16, the batsman falling leg before while attempting a sweep shot.
Mushfiqur, who got the benefit of doubt in a run out appeal when he was batting on 18, showed plenty of application and temperament during his knock and will be crucial to Bangladesh’s hopes of avoiding the follow-on.
Off-spinner Mehedi gave his captain, who suffered a blow to his right hand in the last over of the day against Ishant, able support and hit 10 crisp boundaries in his flourishing knock.
Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by John O'Brien and Pritha Sarkar