Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma
Photo Credit: AFP

In the build-up to this game, Bangladesh had been written off. The talk was either about the ball, or about India, or about how the ball would affect India. Their opponents for this landmark clash was resigned to a footnote, a nondescript one at that who were simply making up the numbers.

True cricket enthusiasts hoped that snub would light a fire in Bangladeshi bellies, but the Tigers crumbled like a badly stacked pack of cards.

They withered and disintegrated and got all-out even before the world could get a glimpse of Eden Garden with its majestic lights.

You'd be forgiven for thinking that the media snub would light a fire in Bangladeshi bellies, and make them come out and prove to everyone that they weren't the pushovers everyone assumed.

Instead, they crumpled, withered, disintegrated. They were awful, and India's pacers continued their red-hot form to bowl Bangladesh out for a paltry 106. It only took 30.3 overs.

Loose shots, catatonic fear, terrific bowling, and one unfortunate injury combined to make the first session-and-a-half utterly miserable for the visitors. Bangladesh's Number 3, 4, and 5 failed to bother the scorers at all and lasted just 13 deliveries.

If it weren't for the boundaries of Shadman Islam and Liton Das, Bangladesh's score would have been historically bad, rather than simply pathetic.

The rear-guard of Nayeem and substitute Mehedy Hasan put on 24 entirely in 4's to give the scorecard some gloss, as it was, before the last four wickets fell in quick succession.

How Bangladesh lost each wicket

1st wicket - 15/1

Imrul Kayes was completely deceived by an Ishant leg-cutter. He played for a delivery that stayed straight, but ended up playing across his line as the ball jagged in to hit him on the pad. He reviewed, hoping that the ball was sliding down leg-side. But ball-tracker had it crashing into leg and Imrul had to walk.

2nd wicket - 17/2

The one that started the collapse. Umesh came in over the wicket to the left-hander Mominul Haque and released a snorter that pitched angled on a length and straightened towards off stump. Mominul had little choice but to play at it, and the ball flew off the edge of his fended bat towards the slip cordon, where Rohit Sharma leapt across from second slip to grab it in front of his captain.

3rd wicket - 17/3

A couple balls later, Mohammad Mithun was walking back to the dressing room, having made no impact whatsoever on the match. He came in, defended one ball that moved away, and then played for outswing again the next ball. But this time, Yadav got the ball to move in off the seam, and it caught the inside edge of Mithun's bat and sent his stumps flying.

4th wicket - 26/4

Mushfiqur was the next to go, also having done nothing of note during his short stay at the crease. He followed almost exactly in Mithun's footsteps, chopping a ball onto his stumps from close outside off. This delivery from Shami did little, moving in slightly, but Mushfiqur defended outside the line of the stumps, and helped the ball find his inside edge.

5th wicket - 38/5

Up until this point, Shadman Islam had been playing solidly, scoring 29 of Bangladesh's first 38 runs. He seemed to be the only one in their lineup who remembered how to bat. He'd hit five boundaries, including two smack in the middle of that collapse. If nothing else, he wasn't fazed by the ease with which the Indian pacers were taking wickets.

And then, he defended for an Umesh inswinger, but like with Mominul earlier, the ball did the opposite, and all Shadman managed was a thick edge to Saha behind the stumps. 5 down, and Saha's hundredth dismissal. At least someone was getting to a century during this innings.

6th wicket - 60/6

Mahmadullah and Liton Das had sparked a small resistance, fighting back the overwhelming power of the Empire. Although, with his height, hair, and his prominent nose, spearhead Ishant Sharma would make a much better Kylo Ren than Darth Vader. Mahmadullah was the Finn to Das's Rey, to continue the Star Wars analogy, as he played the defensive support role while Liton attacked the bowlers.

And then, he was gone. Until this point, Ishant had been patient and economical, waiting and watching while Umesh carved through the top order. Now, he sensed, was his time. The Force was with him, and these puny rebels had to fall. He pitched a ball short and moving away from off stump. Mahmadullah misread the line and set himself up for a back-foot block. He realized his mistake at the last second and tried to pull away, but the ball caught the edge. For a second, it seemed like the ball would fall in no-man's land between the keeper and first slip, but Saha had different ideas.

He dived, throwing himself out at full-stretch and plucked the ball millimeters off the ground. A second stunner for the Indian fielders in the innings. And the beginning of the end.

Liton Das injury 73/6

So, I can't really ignore this one, because it's important, even if it wasn't a wicket. Liton Das was in good nick, scoring freely before a mistimed pull saw a Shami bouncer smash into his helmet. Even after that, he returned and hit two sumptuous boundaries. And then, with his head throbbing, he did the smart thing and told the umpires he couldn't continue.

Concussions are something that sports haven't taken seriously for a long time, with only recent steps taken to correcting that - like football requiring head injuries to be treated off-field immediately, and cricket allowing for concussion substitutes. (The NFL, where CTE is a massive concern for players at all positions, still hasn't done enough to aid their players in this regard.)

So Liton Das was forced to retire hurt, and was replaced in the team by Mehidy Hasan Miraz.

7th wicket - 82/7

With Liton's injury, lunch was taken. Ebadot Hossain and Nayeem Hasan were the two men who came out to bat after the break, and Ebadot didn't stick around for long. Nayeem hit two boundaries, but Ebadot didn't do much to trouble the scorers. After scoring one run, he played down an imaginary line as the ball went straight through him to uproot off-stump.

8th wicket 98/8

Mehidy Hasan and Nayeem Hasan hit four boundaries between them as they tried to get Bangladesh to triple-digits. But there was always the sense that it was a desperate attempt to stay relevant, and that the wickets were just around the corner.

And then Mehidy flicked a ball to midwicket. Ishant had been fishing outside off until this point, and then he gave Mehidy a ball he couldn't resist - full, and on middle and leg. He couldn't not play at it. And the trap was sprung. Pujara dived to his right and pulled off another great catch.

9th wicket - 105/9

After the last one, Ishant was fully in the hunt for a five-for, and he only had to wait one more over to get it. Nayeem had played relatively well for his 19, but he was no match for an Ishant leg-cutter that pitched on middle and cut away from his defense, sending his stumps flying.

Thus was completed Ishant's first five-for at home since 2007. 2007. 2007!

That's insane.

10th wicket - 106/10

Shami got his second, after having taken the brunt of Bangladesh's retaliation - such as it was - and Pujara took his second catch of the innings, this time at first slip. The ball actually went to Rohit, but this time he couldn't hold onto it, and juggled it right into Pujara's hands. Kohli must be seething that it wasn't him at slip for that one.

And there you have it. Bangladesh fell entirely to pieces, much like the Resistance did when the First Order ambushed them and killed off their generals. Kylo Sharma dominated, showing none of the insecurities that have plagued his past. And now, it's time for India to bat.

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