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Rediff.com  » Sports » Zaheer takes seven, India whitewash Bangladesh

Zaheer takes seven, India whitewash Bangladesh

Last updated on: January 27, 2010 13:14 IST

- Scorecard: Bangladesh vs India, 2nd Test

Zaheer KhanZaheer Khan claimed a career-best seven-wicket haul to lead India to a convincing ten-wicket victory and a series clean sweep on Day 4 of the second and final Test, at the Shere Bangla National stadium, in Mirpur, Dhaka, on Wednesday.

Set just two for victory, India achieved the target courtesy two byes behind the wicket to win the two-match series 2-0 shortly after the lunch break.

Left-arm pacer Zaheer used the reverse swing to good effect, claiming seven for 87, for a match haul of ten wickets for 149 runs, as Bangladesh were dismissed for 312 in 90.3 overs in their second innings.

He was deservedly adjudged man of the match and also the man of the series for a rich haul of 15 wickets in two matches at an average of 19.53.

Earlier, night-watchman Shahadat Hossain frustrated the Indians, scoring 40 from 74 deliveries, inclusive of four boundaries and a six, before he was caught at long-on off Harbhajan Singh. He added 68 runs for the fourth wicket with Mohammad Ashraful to continue Bangladesh's good showing in the second innings.

Ashraful fell soon after, in the next over, caught behind by wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni off Pragyan Ojha after a patient innings of 25 from 65 deliveries.

Captain Shakib Al Hasan tried to adopt a positive approach but scored just seven before he swept one straight to Gautam Gambhir at square leg off Ojha.

Zaheer then ran through the lower order. He bowled Raqibul Hasan (5) with an incoming delivery. M Mahmudullah was brilliantly caught at second slip by Murali Vijay for a duck and Shafiul Islam was bowled off the very next delivery without scoring.

Rubel Hossain survived just two deliveries after the lunch break before he also was undone by Zaheer, bowled for a duck.

India won the first Test in Chittagong by 113 runs.

Bangladesh 2nd innings:

India started with pacers on the fourth morning, hoping to get a few early wickets before bringing on the two spinners. But they hardly made an impact, as the pitch played slow, offering hardly any assistance.

Mohammad Ashraful scored the first boundary of the day, stroking a full delivery from Zaheer through the covers in the third over of the day. Night-watchman Shahadat Hossain got his first boundary of the innings when he pulled a short delivery from Ishant Sharma through the square leg to take Bangladesh to 242 for three after 64 overs.

After a quiet start, Shahadat was looking to take charge as he top-edged an intended pull shot off Ishant that went over the slips for a boundary. In the next over, he stepped out to Pragyan Ojha and lofted him over mid-on for his first six of the innings much to the frustration of the Indians.

Slowly but steadily Shahadat and Ashraful were bringing Bangladesh closer towards erasing the deficit. The duo brought up the 50-run partnership for the fourth wicket in the 73rd over.

Shahadat, having achieved his primary motive of surviving the first hour, then set about frustrating the Indians by hitting regular boundaries.

And India's fielding didn't help their cause either. Substitute fielder Amit Mishra dropped the easiest of catches at long-on when Shahadat looked to loft straight down the ground, denying Harbhajan a wicket in his first over.

But a few overs later, Shahadat repeated the shot, but this time Mishra made sure he redeemed himself by holding on to the catch. Shahadat had done his job to perfection, scoring 40 from 74 deliveries, inclusive of four boundaries and a six, while adding 68 runs for the fourth wicket with Ashraful to continue Bangladesh's good showing in the second innings. (290-4, 79.2)

Just like the case on the third evening, one wicket followed another. Ashraful fell in the next over. Her was beaten by a sharp, turning delivery from Ojha and edged it behind to wicketkeeper Dhoni. He was dismissed after a patient innings of 25 from 65 deliveries. (291-5, 80.5)

Captain Shakib Al Hasan came out all guns blazing as he stepped out and lofted Ojha for a straight six off the very first delivery he faced. But he gave his wicket away, attempting another rash shot. The left-hander tried to sweep Ojha from outside the off-stump but hit it straight to Gautam Gambhir at square leg after scoring just seven. (301-6, 82.3)

The Bangladesh batsmen were once letting their team down. Three wickets fell in the space of three overs for the addition of 11 runs.

Zaheer came back for a new spell and he completely changed the script with three wickets in a single over. India were on the verge of taking the new ball, allowing Zaheer one over with the old ball to get his rhythm back, but the left-armer brought the reverse swing into play with the old ball.

Raqibul Hasan's poor run in the series continued as he offered no shot to an incoming delivery from the left-arm pacer, bowling from round the wicket, and was bowled for five. (304-7, 88.2)

The in-form M Mahmudullah (0) was done in by one that moved away from him, which he could only edge behind and Murali Vijay at second slip came up with a brilliant one-handed catch diving to his left. (304-8, 88.4)

Shafiul Islam had no clue at all to a fast reverse swinging delivery that sneaked through his defences and was bowled for a golden duck. (304-9, 88.5)

Suddenly, in the space of six deliveries, Bangladesh had slipped from 304 for six to 304 for nine, to find themselves on the verge of another crushing defeat.

Mushfiqur Rahim hit two boundaries in the final over after the break to take Bangladesh to 312 for nine in 90 overs at lunch and avoid the humiliation of an innings defeat.

It just needed two deliveries after the lunch break for Zaheer to finish off the Bangladesh second innings. Rubel Hossain didn't offer much resistance and was bowled for a two-ball duck as Bangladesh were bundled out for 312 in 90.3 in their second innings.

This was Zaheer's best bowling in a Test match as he claimed seven for 87 in 20.3 overs to follow up on his three for 62 in the first essay for outstanding match figures of 10 wickets for 149 runs.

In fact, his last four wickets on came in the space of eight deliveries as Bangladesh lost their last seven wickets for 22 runs.

Zaheer led from the front with the ball and showed how to use the reverse swing to good effect when there is not much help from the pitch. This is Zaheer's career-best figures in Test cricket, beating the five for 29 he took against New Zealand at Hamilton in December 2002.

Needing just two for victory, India were gifted those runs courtesy byes, when wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim missed one which kept quite low from Shakib Al Hasan.

India cruised home to a convincing ten-wicket victory for a 2-0 series whitewash with more than a day-and-a-half day to spare.

Zaheer was deservedly named the man of the match and man of the series for a rich haul of 15 wickets in two matches, at an average of 19.53. Ishant Sharma also made a good comeback and looked close to his best as he took nine wickets in the two matches at 23.44.

In the end, it turned out to be an easy outing for India in both the matches as the batsmen scored at will, while the pacers also did the job whenever required. The only concern for India is the form of their spinners, who failed to live up to potential and were quite easily dealt with by the Bangladesh batsmen in both the Tests.

India will now do well to forget this victory and concentrate on their tough battle ahead against South Africa, who they take on in a two-match series, starting in Nagpur on February 6.