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'Ordinary' Bangladesh Reduce India To 213 For 8

Sachin Tendulkar saved India the blushes as Bangladesh, derided as an 'ordinary' team by rival captain Virender Sehwag, walked away with the opening day honours in the first cricket Test in Chittagong on Sunday. The
PTI January 17, 2010 16:55 IST
PTI

Sachin Tendulkar saved India the blushes as Bangladesh, derided as an 'ordinary' team by rival captain Virender Sehwag, walked away with the opening day honours in the first cricket Test in Chittagong on Sunday.

The morning session did not give any hint of the impending disaster as India lost six of their top batsmen in the post-lunch period before crawling to 213 for eight at stumps, thanks to Tendulkar's unbeaten 76 and a characteristically breezy 52 by Sehwag.

During the course of his 55th Test half-century, Tendulkar also crossed the 13,000 runs mark in the longer format of the game.

At stumps, Ishant Sharma (1) was giving company to Tendulkar after Shahadat Hossain (4/51) and Shakib Al Hasan (4/52) had mowed down the top and middle order.

 Sehwag, leading the side in Mahendra Singh Dhoni's injury-forced absence, had earlier derided the hosts as an ordinary side, questioning their ability to take 20 wickets.

Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir (23) gave India a strong start by raising 79 runs for the opening wicket in just 15 overs but the visiting batsmen gifted wickets in a heap in the dramatic post-lunch session, which was extended by half an hour after a 90-minute delayed start due to bad light.

Tendulkar, who was dropped by Imrul Kayes while on 16, made a well-compiled unbeaten 76 from 140 balls with the help of six fours and a six before bad light stopped play.

Playing in their first match after becoming the world number one Test side last month, the Indians had themselves to blame as all their top batsmen, except for Rahul Dravid (4), were out to loose shots on a batting beauty where they lost six wickets in the post-lunch session for 94 runs in 32 overs.

Tendulkar, who hit his 55th half century in his 163rd match, carried the bat through the day as India added 53 runs from 18 overs by losing two wickets. He tried to stitch partnerships but none of team-mates responded.

India, who are aiming to hold on to their hard-earned world number status, will have come up with some inspired performance tomorrow if they want to win this Test against a side ranked ninth in the ICC chart.

Put into bat, India cruised to 63 for no loss in the morning session before the hosts hit back.

Three quick dismissals after lunch pegged India back with stand-in skipper Sehwag, Gambhir and Dravid falling inside five overs after resumption.

Sehwag hit Shahadat for a boundary off the first ball of the post-lunch session and followed it up with two more fours in the same over to race to his 20th half century in his 73rd match. His 50 came from 45 balls with the help of nine fours.