Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir gave India a good start after Bangladesh were bowled out for 233 in their first innings on day one of the second and final Test at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka on Sunday.
Virender Sehwag smashed 41 from 40 deliveries, hitting six boundaries, and Gautam Gambhir was not out on 26 from 38 deliveries as India reached 69 for no loss in 13 overs when stumps were called on the opening day.
Earlier, M Mahmudullah was left stranded on a superb innings of 96 from 156 deliveries, laced with 13 boundaries that rescued Bangladesh from a precarious 51 for five at one stage.
Pacers Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan were both outstanding with the ball as they claimed four for 66 and three for 60 respectively. Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha also made a useful contribution with the ball as he took two for 45 in 14 overs, while Harbhajan Singh took one for 46.
Mohammad Ashraful top scored with a quick 39 from 31 deliveries before he gifted his wicket to Pragyan Ojha, stumped by wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni attempting a big shot.
Mushfiqur Rahim played a steady innings of 30, adding 55 runs for the sixth wicket with Shakib Al Hasan (34) before they departed in quick succession.
Mahmudullah frustrated the Indian bowlers as he added 58 runs from 119 balls for the ninth wicket with Shafiul Islam (9 from 39 deliveries) and 29 runs in 60 deliveries for the last wicket with Rubel Hossain (4 from 26).
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, having recovered from his back injury, made it back to the side in place of Dinesh Karthik. The injury jinx continued to haunt the visitors with VVS Laxman, S Sreesanth ruled out of the match with injuries and were replaced by Harbhajan Singh and Murali Vijay respectively. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who took seven wickets and hit a half-century in the previous match, had to make way for left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha.
Hosts Bangladesh made a solitary change bringing in Junaid Siddique in place of Shahriar Nafees.
India lead the two-match series 1-0 after their 113-run victory in the first Test in Chittagong.
Morning session: (27 overs, 84 runs, 5 wickets)
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had indicated that it was not a bad toss to lose since he expected some early help for the pacers in the first hour or so. Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan proved their captain was bang on as they claimed early wickets to put their team on top.
Ishant struck with his first delivery of the match when he had Imrul Kayes (0) caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. However, closer look at the replays indicated that the left-hander was unlucky to be given out since the ball had come off his thigh pad. (1-0, 1.1)
Tamim Iqbal also fell before opening his account when he was bowled by a full swinging delivery from Zaheer Khan in the third over of the match. (4-2, 2.3)
Zaheer soon had Bangladesh in more trouble when he claimed the wicket of Junaid Siddique. The left-hander was clearly at discomfort against the short deliveries before gloving one behind and was taken down the leg side by wicketkeeper Dhoni for eight. (13-3, 4.2)
The out-of-form Mohammad Ashraful, under pressure to retain his place in the team, kept a positive approach despite the early wickets. He hit Ishant for two boundaries to race to 32 from 26 deliveries and take Bangladesh to 43 for three after ten overs.
Raqibul Hossain (4) also was guilty of playing a loose shot when he lashed out at a wide delivery from Ishant only to edge it behind to Rahul Dravid at second slip.
Ashraful then gifted his wicket away looking for another big shot. The former Bangladesh captain fell in Pragyan Ojha's first over when he charged down the wicket looking for a big shot but was beaten in the flight and was stumped after a quick knock of 39 from 31 deliveries. (51-5, 12.4)
Dhoni kept a seamer going from one end while getting the spinners to bowl from the other. Ojha bowled a short spell of three overs, during which he claimed one for 15, before he gave way to Harbhajan Singh, who started with three maiden overs on the trot.
Mushfiqur Rahim, who scored a century in the previous match, showed great concentration yet again. While captain Shakib Al Hasan was content to play the waiting game, Rahim was quick to despatch the loose deliveries as he hit Ishant for a couple of boundaries in the 26th over.
At lunch on day one, Bangladesh reached 84 for five in 27 overs. Rahim was unbeaten on 22 from 46 deliveries, inclusive of four boundaries, while Hasan was not out on 11 from 40 deliveries with the two batsmen having added 33 runs in 86 deliveries.
Zaheer was outstanding with the ball as he claimed two for 32 in ten overs, while Ishant also had identical figures of two for 32 in nine overs. Ojha (1-15) started with a wicket, while Harbhajan Singh also looked threatening during his spell of five overs before lunch.
Post lunch session: (29 overs, 113 runs, 3 wickets)
Rahim started off in style after the break when he hit the first two deliveries of the session, from Ishant, for boundaries through the point region.
Shakib also got in the groove after lunch when he hit Ishant for boundaries in successive overs to move to 34.
However, it was Ishant, who caused Bangladesh further misery with the wicket of Rahim. The right-hander was trapped plumb leg before wicket when he was beaten by a quick full delivery from Ishant after a good innings of 30 from 61 deliveries, laced with six boundaries. (106-6, 31.5)
Rahim had helped Bangladesh recover slightly as he added 55 runs in 115 deliveries for the sixth wicket with captain Hasan.
Dhoni then brought in Zaheer to replace Ishant and the move paid off immediately. In the very first over of his new spell, Zaheer took the wicket of Al Hasan for his third wicket of the innings. The Bangladesh captain let his team down when he lashed out at a wide delivery to edge it behind to wicketkeeper Dhoni after scoring 34 from 67 deliveries. (127-7, 35.4)
Mahmudullah was once again left with the task of giving the innings some respectability in the company of tailenders. The right-hander played the upper cut to a short delivery from Zaheer to take Bangladesh past the 150-run mark in the 42nd over.
While Harbhajan struggled to pick a wicket in his first 13 overs, Ojha came on for a new spell and claimed one immediately, his second of the innings.
The left-arm spinner drew Shahadat Hossain forward with a flighted delivery that turned a long way and Dhoni dislodged the bails to have him stumped for 8. (155-8, 44)
With tailenders at the other end, Mahmudullah was keen to score some runs. He used the reverse sweep against Harbhajan and hit him for a boundary through the vacant third man region and then slog swept the off-spinner through midwicket for his second four of the over.
Mahmudullah continued his good run with the bat as he brought up his second successive half-century. He hit a cracking boundary through the covers off Yuvraj Singh in the 51st over to complete his fifty off 72 deliveries, inclusive of six boundaries.
Mahmudullah continued finding the boundaries as he cut a short delivery from Ojha through point to move to 65.
At tea on the first day, Bangladesh reached 197 for eight in 56 overs. Mahmudullah was unbeaten on 65 from 89 deliveries, inclusive of nine boundaries, having already added 42 runs for the ninth wicket with Shafiul Islam (9 not out).
Bangladesh managed to add some respectability to the total in the post lunch session as they added 113 runs for the loss of three wickets. They would be hoping Mahmudullah can go on to play a big innings and take Bangladesh to a competitive total around the 300-run mark.
For India, Ishant and Zaheer were the stars with the ball as they took three for 65 and three for 54 respectively, while Ojha claimed two for 36.
Post tea session: (30.5 overs, 105 runs, 2 wickets)
Mahmudullah was proving to be a tough cookie to crack for the Indian bowlers as he kept finding the boundaries with ease after the tea break. He smashed a short delivery from Zaheer through point in the 58th over to bring up the 50-run partnership for the ninth wicket with Islam as India's frustration kept growing.
Not only was Mahmudullah getting the boundaries but he also protected his partner Islam well by taking singles off the fourth or fifth delivery in every over after the tea break.
Islam's resistance finally ended when he was caught at second slip off Ishant as he edged an outgoing delivery after scoring nine from 39 deliveries. Bangladesh's number nine batsman gave good support to Mahmudullah as he added 58 runs in 119 deliveries for the ninth wicket to help Bangladesh add some vital runs to their total. (213-9, 63.5)
That wicket saw India tighten the noose as just one run came from the next four overs, including three maidens.
With the runs having dried up, Mahmudullah decided it was time to take charge as he hit Harbhajan for a couple of boundaries in the 72nd over to move into the 90s.
However, to everyone's disappointment lastman Rubel Hossain could not survive for long. The right-hander was bowled by Harbhajan Singh for four from 26 deliveries as Bangladesh were bowled out for 233 in 73.5 overs.
Mahmudullah was left stranded on a good innings of 96 from 156 deliveries, inclusive of 13 boundaries, just four runs shy of what would have been his maiden century in Test cricket. Quite deservedly, the Bangladesh youngster was congratulated and applauded by a few Indian players on his brilliant innings that saw Bangladesh recover from 51 for five and reach a respectable 233.
Once again Zaheer was simply superb with the ball as he claimed three for 62 in 19 overs, while Ishant continued to improve in his comeback as he took four for 66 in 18 overs. Ojha showed why he deserved to start ahead of Amit Mishra as he bowled a tight spell of two for 49 in 16 overs, while Harbhajan bagged a solitary wicket for one for 48 in 18.5 overs.
India must have been disappointed not to have taken advantage of their good start with the ball, but they would now be hoping to put up a big first innings score and look for an innings win.
Shafiul Islam bowled with a good pace and troubled Gautam Gambhir in the first couple of overs as he slanted the ball across the left-hander. Virender Sehwag announced himself when he slammed a full delivery from Islam through the covers for his first boundary of the innings in the third over.
The right-hander then flicked a full delivery from Rubel Hossain through midwicket for his second boundary to race to 18 from 13 deliveries as India reached 24 for no loss after five overs.
Gambhir decided to take the attack to Shakib early on as he danced down the wicket to the left-arm spinner and lifted him over midwicket for a boundary in the eighth over.
Surprisingly, Bangladesh decided to bring in part-timer Mohammad Ashraful into the attack. The two Indian openers didn't need any second invitation as they helped themselves to a boundary each in that over to take India to 60 for no loss after 12 overs.
After a steady start Sehwag was ready to change gears as he despatched full deliveries from Shakib through the covers and midwicket for another couple of boundaries in the next over.
At close on day one, India had raced away to 69 for no loss in 13 overs, trailing Bangladesh's first innings by 164 runs.
Sehwag smashed 41 from 40 deliveries, having hit six boundaries, to underline India's domination on day one. Gambhir, chasing a world record sixth century in six Test matches, was unbeaten on a steady 26 from 38 deliveries, inclusive of four boundaries.
A good batting performance on day two would see India in complete control and push for an innings victory.