First Test: Pujara, Iyer lift India to 278/6 on opening day

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara in action. Photo: Twitter@BCCI

India's Cheteshwar Pujara and Shreyas Iyer combined in a 149-run stand for the fifth wicket to help the tourists overcome a top order wobble and reach 278/6 against Bangladesh on the opening day of the first Test in Chittagong on Tuesday.

Iyer was batting on 82, a fine knock that included 10 fours, at stumps having lost Axar Patel to the last delivery of the day from spinner Mehidy Hasan.

Earlier, India's decision to bat backfired and they slumped to 48/3 in the morning session with stand-in skipper K L Rahul and stalwart Virat Kohli among the dismissed batsmen.

Pujara, who made 90, and Iyer joined hands to prop up India aided by the reprieves they got.

Pujara was dropped on 12 by Bangladesh wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan, who also spilled an edge when Iyer attempted a cut shot against Shakib Al Hasan.

Leading the side in absence of India's injured skipper Rohit Sharma, Rahul won the toss and elected to bat and Bangladesh drew first blood inside the first hour, thanks to Yasir Ali's excellent anticipation. With no fielder behind the square, Shubman Gill (20) attempted a paddle sweep against left-arm spinner Taijul Islam (3/84) only to scoop the ball behind him.

Yasir, standing at first slip and watching Gill shape up to play the shot, had enough time to run across to leg slip and take the catch.Bangladesh did not have to wait long for a second wicket.

Rahul made 22 before dragging an Ebadot Hussain delivery onto his leg stump, trying to hit the seamer through the off-side.

India slumped to 48/3 when Taijul returned to remove Kohli lbw for one. Kohli, trying to work the ball to the leg side, was beaten by turn and wasted a review in his unsuccessful bid to overturn the decision.

India's Cheteshwar Pujara (L) bump fists with teammate Rishabh Pant during the first day of the first cricket Test match between Bangladesh and India at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on December 14, 2022. Photo: AFP

Next man in Rishabh Pant threw caution to the wind and counter-attacked to lift the pressure. The left-hander stepped out to hit Taijul over long-on boundary for a six to signal his intention and scored at a run-a-ball rate.

Taijul had his revenge in the second session when Pant, after clobbering the spinner's previous delivery for a six, dragged a ball onto his stumps to depart for 46.

Pujara and Iyer ensured India did not lose another wicket in the second session and lead their recovery with their risk-free accumulation of runs.

Taijul denied Pujara his hundred and spun one past the bat and into the stumps. 

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