India A dominated the opening day of the three-day match against Bangladesh at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. After winning the toss and inserting the opposition in, Varun Aaron and Jayant Yadav starred for India with four wickets each. Thanks to the duo, Bangladesh were restricted to merely 228, in spite of the fact that Sabbir Rahman remained unbeaten on 122 and Shuvagata Hom shone again with the bat, making a useful 62. Shikhar Dhawan then passed a fitness test easing his way to his third century in as many first-class games. He remained unbeaten on 116 as India A ended the day on a strong 161 for 1.
There was a minor worry for Dhawan as he had to apply magic spray on his right hand during the course of his innings, indicating that he was still experiencing some pain. But, he batted on even after that without much discomfort, which was a good sign for India. The left-hander was very much at ease during his innings untroubled by pace and spin. He toyed with the field, hitting a total of 16 fours and 2 sixes during his innings, which came at a rate of better than a run-a-ball. Bangladesh were unlucky as Rubel Hossain got injured, but he too was hit for three fours by Dhawan in his first over.
Dhawan was the dominant partner in the opening stand of 153. His partner Abhinav Mukund was a mere spectator, making 34 from 78, before he was cleaned up by Hom. That was the only wicket Bangladesh managed on a highly disappointing opening day. Saqlain Sajib and Jubair Hossain, who showed some spark in the match against Karnataka were thoroughly disappointing, conceding 5.6 and 8.7 runs per over respectively. Shafiul Islam also sent down only three overs without being effective.
Like their bowling, Bangladesh’s batting earlier in the day was also extremely poor. They lost their first four wickets with merely 6 on the board. Aaron had Soumya Sarkar caught behind outside the off-stump. Skipper Mominul Haque then nicked a ball way outside that was nowhere near the stumps in the same over. Aaron had two in the first over, and Bangladesh were 2 for 2. Anamul Haque played a loose stroke outside off-stump, and Litton Das then hit Aaron to mid-on as Bangladesh were four down without having reached double figures.
Sabbir and Nasir then joined hands in the rescue act. Sabbir looked in complete control of his innings throughout. Nasir was luckier as his edges fell away from the fielders. His streaky innings ended as he edged Abhimanyu Mithun behind the wickets. Sabbir and Hom then featured in the most assured stand of the day for Bangladesh. Hom was batting well on 62 when Aaron returned to having caught behind the wickets. Off-spinner Yadav then ran through the tail, claiming the last four wickets. Sabbir was stranded on 122, having hit 23 fours and a six. Dhawan was soon to overshadow him.
--By A Cricket Correspondent