Iqbal leads strong reply for the hosts

Opener becomes the fastest centurion for Bangladesh with a blistering 151 but the hosts still face a stiff task of wiping out the lead of 311 against India.

After a majestic innings that would have made Virender Sehwag proud, Tamim Iqbal said he was just trying to emulate the India opener's carefree approach to batting during his whirlwind knock yesterday. Iqbal's 151 ensured that Bangladesh closed day three of the second Test on their healthiest score of the series, 228 for three. The hosts, however, still need 83 runs more to make India bat again after the visitors declared their first innings at lunch on 544 for eight, which gave them a lead of 311. The Bangladesh opener, still remembered by Indian fans for his savage assault on Zaheer Khan and Co at the 2007 World Cup, was in rampant form yesterday, scything through the India attack, both pace and spin, in a 183-ball knock. The 20-year-old passed three-figures from just 101 balls, with his 15th boundary hit. Overall, he smashed 18 fours and three sixes.

"I discussed with [captain] Shakib [Al Hasan] that Sehwag plays his natural game and scores runs heavily," said Iqbal. "Our coach told me to just go out, play my natural game and enjoy myself, and I did just that. I played my natural game. I want to dedicate this century to my father, passed away before my Test debut. He wanted both me and my elder brother [Nafees Iqbal who played 11 Tests] to play for the country." While Iqbal walked away with all the accolades, Junaid Siddique played no less a part in frustrating the Indians. He made 55, but ensured his opener was not fighting a lone battle. Together, they defied the visitors for 51.1 overs after the early departure of Imrul Kayes, adding 200 runs, which is Bangladesh's highest partnership in Test cricket for any wicket, against any opposition. Khan's twin strike towards the end of the day, however, undid some of Bangladesh's good work. Khan had both Siddique and Iqbal edging behind in successive overs.

The India coach, Gary Kirsten, was relieved to get the two late wickets, but thought his bowlers could have done a lot better early on. "We did not bowl as good as we can though the wicket is not easy for the bowlers," said the South African. "There might have been some impatience." Earlier, Yuvraj Singh was declared unfit to take any part in the Test following a ligament tear in his left wrist. The all-rounder joined India's growing list of injuries ahead of the home series against South Africa, which starts with the first Test at Nagpur from February 6. VVS Laxman and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth missed this game with injuries, while Rahul Dravid sustained a double jaw fracture after being hit by a bouncer from Shahadat Hossain on day two. "Yuvraj will be struggling to make the first Test," said Kirsten. "He will be out for a while." arizvi@thenational.ae

Bangladesh 233 & (second innings): Tamim Iqbal c Dhoni b Khan 151 Imrul Kayes c (sub) Karthik b Khan 5 Junaid Siddique c Dhoni b Khan 55 Shahadat Hossain not out 2 Mohammad Ashraful not out 2 Extras: (7b, 4lb, 2w) 13 Total: (for 3 wickets, 60 overs) 228 Fall of wicket: 1-19, 2-219, 3-222 Bowling: Zaheer Khan 14-1-63-3 (1w) Ishant Sharma 11-2-38-0 Harbhajan Singh 17-3-59-0 Pragyan Ojha 11-1-46-0 Virender Sehwag 7-2-11-0 (1w). India (overnight 459-5): Gautam Gambhir c Rahim b Islam 68 Virender Sehwag c Rahim b Hossain 56 Rahul Dravid retired hurt 111 Sachin Tendulkar c Kayes b Shakib Al Hasan 143 Murali Vijay c Mahmudullah b Shakib Al Hasan 30 Mahendra Singh Dhoni st. Rahim b Raqibul Hasan 89 Harbhajan Singh c Rahim b Islam 13 Zaheer Khan c Hossain b Islam 0 Ishant Sharma c Rahim b Ashraful 13 Pragyan Ojha not out 1 Extras: (3b, 6lb, 1w, 10nb) 20 Total: (for eight wickets decl, 133 overs) 544 Fall of wickets: 1-103, 2-146, 3-421, 4-436, 5-459, 6-467, 7-518, 8-544. Bowling: Shafiul Islam 23-1-86-3 (1w) Shahadat Hossain 22-2-91-1 (2nb) Rubel Hossain 28-1-115-0 (8nb) Shakib Al Hasan 34-3-118-2 Mohammad Ashraful 9-0-38-1 Mohammad Mahmudullah 15-0-78-0 Junaid Siddique 1-0-9-0 Raqibul Hasan 1-1-0-1.

The International Cricket Council is conducting what it says will be "an independent and comprehensive investigation" into the Umpire Decision Review System following the high-profile error in this month's fourth Test between England and South Africa. The Proteas captain Graeme Smith was given not out when TV umpire Daryl Harper watched a replay of him edging the ball without the volume switched on. With no visible deviation in the ball's flight, Harper did not hear the contact and Smith went on to hit a match-winning century that helped his team tie the series. The ICC said Tuesday that lawyer Brent Lockie and former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd would lead the review.

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