Gambhir steers India charge

Fifth consecutive century from Gautam Gambhir as Bangladesh chase 415-run victory target.

    India's Rahul Dravid is run out as teammate Sachin Tendulkar looks back [AFP]
    India grabbed two early wickets to put themselves in a commanding position in the first Test against Bangladesh after Gautam Gambhir hit his fifth century in as many Tests.

    Bangladesh face a stiff task to save the Test as they struggled to 67-2 in their second innings at stumps on the penultimate day in Chittagong while chasing an unlikely 415-run victory target.

    Only four teams have chased more than 400 in the fourth innings to win a Test.

    Opener Tamim Iqbal was unbeaten on 23 at close with Mohammad Ashraful on 16.

    Indian paceman Zaheer Khan had Imrul Kayes caught behind in his second over before Ishant Sharma dismissed Shahriar Nafees (21), with stand-in captain Virender Sehwag taking a low catch at gully.

    Nafees failed to make the most of the chance he got on five when he was dropped by Venkatsai Laxman at second slip off Zaheer.

    Brilliant Gambhir

    Left-handed opener Gambhir (116) earlier became the fourth batsman to smash a century in five successive Tests as India declared their second innings at 413-8 shortly after tea.

    Australian Don Bradman holds the world record of making hundreds in six consecutive Tests. South African Jacques Kallis and Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf are the others to have made centuries in five consecutive Tests.

    India added 291 to their overnight total of 122-1, with Gambhir, Laxman (69 not out) and nightwatchman Amit Mishra (50) the main contributors.

    Left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan finished with 7-174, the best by a Bangladeshi bowler against India in a Test.

    Gambhir completed his hundred in style, hoisting Shakib over long on for a six. He also hit 10 fours in his 129-ball knock.

    Day four scorecard

    India first innings
    India 243 all out
    (S Tendulkar 105 not out, V Sehwag 52;
    S Al Hasan 5-62, S Hossain 5-71)

    Bangladesh first innings
    Bangladesh 242 all out
    (Mahmudullah 69)

    India second innings (overnight 122-1)
    G Gambhir c Shahriar b Shafiul 116
    V Sehwag c Raqibul b Shakib 45
    A Mishra c Tamim b Mahmudullah 50
    R Dravid run out 24
    S Tendulkar lbw b Rubel 16
    V Laxman not out 69
    Y Singh c Ashraful b Shahadat 25
    D Karthik c Rubel b Mahmudullah 27
    Z Khan b Shakib 20
    I Sharma not out 7
    Extras 14
    Total (eight wickets dec; 87 overs) 413
    Fall of wickets: 1-90 2-188 3-233 4-245 5-272 6-313 7-362 8-394

    Bangladesh second innings
    T Iqbal not out 23
    I Kayes c Karthik b Zaheer 1
    S Nafees c Sehwag b Ishant 21
    M Ashraful not out 16
    Extras 6
    Total (two wickets; 18 overs) 67

    His last four centuries came against New Zealand (at Napier and Wellington) and Sri Lanka (at Ahmedabad and Kanpur) in 2009.

    Gambhir fell cutting debutant seamer Shafiul Islam to Nafees at third man a few overs after reaching his ninth Test hundred in 28 matches.

    Steady Laxman

    India lost Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh in the afternoon session, but Laxman kept his end intact for more than two hours to boost his team's total.

    Tendulkar, who scored a century in the first innings, was trapped leg-before by seamer Rubel Hossain after making 16.

    Yuvraj (25), who looked uncomfortable against short-pitched bowling on a few occasions, fell to a loose shot when he uppishly drove paceman Shahadat Hossain to Ashraful at short cover.

    The morning session belonged to Gambhir and Mishra, who put on 98 for the second wicket. Mishra hit six fours in his maiden half-century.

    Gambhir rarely looked in trouble against Bangladesh's pace-spin combination, playing handsome strokes while adding 69 to his overnight score of 47.

    Bangladesh had a chance to dismiss Gambhir on 55 but Kayes dropped a sharp chance at forward short-leg off Shakib. 



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