Bangladesh fight back in second Test against India to keep series hopes alive

Hosts trail by 80 after dismissing visitors for 314 after fifties from Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer

Bangladesh's Mehidy Hasan Miraz, centre, celebrates with teammates after the dismissal of India's Rishabh Pant in the second Test in Mirpur on Friday, December 23, 2022. AP
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Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer will be ruing missed hundreds and a chance to put India in complete control of the second Test in Mirpur on Friday after Bangladesh took quick wickets to keep alive their chances of levelling the series.

Star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan stepped up to claim three wickets in the final session on day two just when his side could see the game slipping away.

India finished their innings on 314, squeaking out an 87-run lead, but would have expected a much bigger tally when they resumed after tea on 226-4 with both Pant and Iyer having posted half-centuries.

Bangladesh reduced that lead to 80 by stumps, ending the day without losing a wicket with openers Najmul Hossain on five and Zakir Hasan on two.

Rishabh Pant, left and Shreyas Iyer hit attacking fifties at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. AFP

"If we could have given less runs during that period even without getting a wicket we could have been in a better place," Bangladesh spinner Taijul Islam, who cleared the top order to take 4-74, said of the second session.

"Still, I would say we are not in a very bad position," he told reporters.

Pant and Iyer hit aggressive half-centuries to take India past Bangladesh's first innings total but both fell short of their hundreds as India lost their last six wickets for 61 runs.

Their partnership came to an end after they guided India to 253, with Pant hitting 93 off 104 balls and Iyer amassing his 87 off 105 deliveries.

Pant had been at his best, hitting five sixes and seven fours in his 11th Test fifty, before edging Mehidy Hasan for a sharp catch behind the stumps.

Skipper Shakib then got rid of Axar Patel (4) for his first wicket and then had Iyer out lbw two overs later.

Iyer rode his luck in an innings that included 10 fours and two sixes. He was dropped by Mehidy on 19 off Taskin and then escaped again when wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan missed a simple stumping chance off Shakib.

"My mindset was just to play the session out and see how it goes, but obviously at the same time I was not going to restrict my strokes," he said. "I am grateful for what score I got."

Updated: December 23, 2022, 1:25 PM