Zakir, Shanto keep hosts steady after India A take 353-run lead

Bangladesh A 112 and 172 for 1 (Zakir 81*, Shanto 56*) trail India A 465 for 5 dec (Jaiswal 145, Easwaran 142, Taijul 3-170) by 181 runs

Bangladesh A were on the path to recovery on the third day of the first four-day Test against India A in Cox’s Bazar courtesy Zakir Hasan and Najmul Hossain Shanto. Zakir was unbeaten on 81 while Shanto finished 56 not out, with the duo adding 101 runs for the unbroken second wicket.

The home side ended the day on 172 for 1, still trailing India A by 181 runs.

The third day started with the visitors on 404 for 5, and they batted for a further 15 overs to finish on 465 for 5 to take an overall lead of 353 runs. Upendra Yadav remained unbeaten 71 off 122 balls with five fours and two sixes, while Tilak Varma retired hurt on 33 off 100 balls. The Bangladesh A bowlers failed to pick up a single wicket in these 15 overs.
Bangladesh, who were skittled out for 112 in their first stint gave a much better account of themselves the second time around. Their openers Zakir and Mahmudul Hasan Joy added 71 runs for the opening stand before the latter fell to left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar in India A’s only success on the day, having made 21.

Zakir, however, remained firm at the other end, hitting eight fours and two sixes during his stay at the crease. Shanto, coming in at No. 3, gave him good support, scoring seven fours during his knock.

By the stumps were drawn, Bangladesh A were still quite a distance behind India A’s score, so the fourth day will be an opportunity for these two left-handers to get a bigger score, followed by Mominul Haque, who is desperately looking for runs.