India on the verge of victory in first Test against dogged Bangladesh

Debutant Zakir Hasan scores century on day four but Bangladesh still need 241 runs with four wickets in hand

India's Axar Patel, centre, celebrates the wicket of Bangladesh's Mushfiqur Rahim in the first Test. AP
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India broke through tough resistance from Bangladesh including a Zakir Hasan century to be within four wickets of victory at stumps on day four of the first Test on Saturday.

Set a huge target of 513 runs in Chattogram, Bangladesh reached 272-6 at the close, still needing 241 runs, with skipper Shakib Al Hasan on 40 and Mehidy Hasan on nine.

Earlier opener Zakir hit 100 off 224 balls and put on a century opening stand with Najmul Hossain, the pair having hung on in the final session of day three and to lunch on day four.

Left-arm spinner Axar Patel picked up three wickets on Saturday as India edged closer to a comfortable win. Patel beat the bat on a number of occasions as he got sharp turn and bounce from the stumps on a frustrating day for Indian bowlers.

Resuming on 42-0, Najmul and Zakir dug deep to record a 124-run opening partnership - Bangladesh's first century stand for the first wicket in the longest format against India.

Bangladesh's Zakir Hasan, left, celebrates scoring a century on Saturday. AP

The pair looked formidable and faced very little trouble as India mixed things up with pace and spin. The opening partnership came to an end when Umesh Yadav dismissed Shanto for 67 as wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant pulled off a relay catch after Virat Kohli dropped it.

Coming in at No 3, Yasir Ali could do very little and was bowled for five runs by Patel while Litton Das was dismissed for 19 by Kuldeep Yadav.

Despite the wickets, Zakir stood his ground on his Test debut and eventually brought up a century in style with a four swept behind square.

But the 24-year-old's celebrations were short-lived as he was soon sent packing by Ravichandran Ashwin, caught in the slip by Kohli.

Umesh could have had another wicket when the seamer came in with the new ball after tea against Mushfiqur Rahim, but keeper Pant failed to take a diving one-handed catch.

Patel made up for it though, finding the off stump to dismiss Mushfiqur for 23 in the next over.

He picked up his third wicket shortly after Nurul Hasan was beaten on the outside edge and got stumped.

Updated: December 17, 2022, 11:53 AM