In reply, Bangladesh were 7 for no loss in their second innings at stumps on Friday, with Najmul Hossain Shanto (5) and Zakir Hasan (2) unbeaten at the crease.
Pant (93 off 104 balls) and Shreyas Iyer (87 off 105 balls) shared 159 runs for the fifth wicket before Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan (4/79) and Taijul Islam (4/74) produced impressive spells to bowl out India for 314 runs.
India lost six wickets after tea — for the addition of 90 runs — out of which Shakib took four.
India added 295 runs on the day in 78.3 overs after resuming at 19 for no loss. India had bowled Bangladesh out for 227 in their first innings on Thursday.
Stumps on Day 2 of the 2nd Test.Bangladesh 227 & 7/0, trail #TeamIndia (314) by 80 runs.Scorecard -… https://t.co/LC0uIj3xH1
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1671794231000
Pant, who got out in the 90s for the sixth time in his Test career, again brought his ‘A’ game to the fore with a counter-attacking knock that formed the cornerstone of India’s first innings score of 314 on the second day of the second Test.
Between the lunch and the tea, the match which seemed to be hanging in balance was single-handedly changed by Pant, whose 104-ball innings had seven fours and five huge sixes — a few of them were one-handed lofted shots.
Shreyas Iyer, who has been consistent since his Test debut last year, also batted with a lot of intent but missed his second hundred of the series, getting out for 87 off 105 balls.
“I love and thrive under challenges. Pressure lifts me, that’s the situation I wanted to be in. Pant kept me calm and composed. It was crucial,” Iyer said after day’s play. Asked further about his conversation with Pant, Iyer said, “It wasn’t an intense chat. I didn’t want to disturb his focus. We tried to communicate with actions, he maintained calm and targeted the right bowlers.”
Riding on the 159-run fifth wicket stand between Pant and Iyer, India, who were tottering at 94 for four, will fancy their chances for a fourth-day finish and consolidate their position in the World Test Championship table.
The morning session belonged to Bangladesh’s left-arm spinner Taijul Islam (4/74), who rocked the top-order by dismissing skipper KL Rahul (10), Shubman Gill (20) and Cheteshwar Pujara (24) but by the end of afternoon session, Pant had blown the hosts away.
Bangladesh vs India: 2nd Test, Day 2Bangladesh trail by 80 runs.#BCB | #Cricket | #BANvIND https://t.co/GwPup1kIN5
— Bangladesh Cricket (@BCBtigers) 1671794066000
Earlier, having misread the track on day one, Rahul paid the price for his ultra defensive mindset on a pitch that offered fair bit of turn on the opening day itself.
Not for once during his 45-ball stay did he look comfortable, save the cover driven boundary off a seamer at the start of the day.
Gill, on the other end, looked more assured even as Taijul kept his deliveries on good length and bowled a nice trajectory.
The delivery that got Rahul, seemed like an armer that came in with the angle and then straightened enough to trap him in-front of the wickets. Umpire had dismissed the LBW plea but Bangladesh got the decision in their favour after taking DRS review.
In case of Gill, it was more of a straightforward decision where he was caught plumb as he missed a straighter one while attempting a sweep shot.
Pujara looked assured till the time he was at the crease but with the deliveries stopping and turning, there was always the danger of negotiating that ball which would send him back.
India are currently leading the two-match series 1-0. They had won the opening Test by 188 runs in Chattogram.
The two-match series is part of the ICC World Test Championship.
(With inputs from PTI)