Second Test preview: Bangladesh v Pakistan


Pakistan are confident of a two-nil rout of a struggling Bangladesh unit with another solid all-round performance in the second and final Test, starting in Dhaka on Saturday.

Pakistan are confident of a two-nil rout of a struggling Bangladesh unit with another solid all-round performance in the second and final Test, starting in Dhaka on Saturday.

The tourists toyed with Bangladesh in the opening Test, racing to an innings and 184-run victory with more than a day to spare in Chittagong.

Misbah-ul-Haq's side won after dismissing the hosts for a paltry 135 in the first innings on the first day of the match on a good batting pitch.

Pakistan's batsmen dominated the mediocre Bangladeshi attack to help their team post a mammoth 594 for five declared, with Younis Khan hammering an unbeaten double-century and Mohammad Hafeez and Asad Shafiq each scoring a ton.

Pakistan's bowlers never allowed the Bangladeshi batsmen to build a big partnership in the match, bowling the hosts out for 275 in the second innings.

Left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman emerged the most successful bowler, with seven wickets in the match, while off-spinner Saeed Ajmal and pacemen Umar Gul and Aizaz Cheema also kept pressure on Bangladesh.

Pakistan, who arrived in Bangladesh fresh from their success in all formats of the game against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates, will be keen to extend their impressive run.

"The confidence comes from performances. When you are performing as a team and performing well, the confidence keeps building. This is really helping us as a team," said Misbah.

"We will play with the same intensity. We want to put everything right in batting, bowling and fielding. We want to improve our performance."

Bangladesh need to put in improved batting and bowling performances if they want to avoid their eighth successive Test defeat against Pakistan since 2001.

The hosts dropped former captain and middle-order batsman Mohammad Ashraful, who scored one and zero in the first Test, and named fast bowler Shafiul Islam to replace the injured Rubel Hossain.

Batting was Bangladesh's main worry in the last Test, with debutant opener Mohammed Nazimuddin alone giving a good account of himself with a defiant 31 in the first innings and 78 in the second.

"Our main target is to put in an improved batting performance. We are planning to bat session by session," said Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim.

"If we can score a good total then our bowlers will have better opportunity to defend it. Our batting should have been better in the first Test and I hope our batsmen would learn from the mistakes."

The hosts expect more from their specialist batsmen like Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and Rahim in a bid to test Pakistan.

<b>Key Men</b><br><i>Bangladesh:</i> Not for the first time and certainly not the last, so much relies on <B>Shakib Al Hasan</B>. With bat and ball, he remains the Tigers' most threatening weapon by a long shot.

<i>Pakistan:</i> <B>Umar Gul</B> delivered a superb showing in Chittagong and will get even better conditions to ply his trade in in Dhaka. The seamer needs as much success as possible ahead of a daunting series against England early next year.

<b>Last Five Head-To-Head Results</b><BR>December 2011, First Test: Pakistan won by an innings and 184 runs in Chittagong<BR>September 2003, Third Test: Pakistan won by one wicket in Multan<br>August 2003, Second Test: Pakistan won by nine wickets in Peshawar<br>August 2003, First Test: Pakistan won by seven wickets in Karachi<br>January 2002, Second Test: Pakistan won by an innings and 169 runs in Chittagong

<b>Prediction</b><BR>You'd be a brave punter to goes against Pakistan, who are likely to win this one well inside five days again. Their disciplines are just far too superior to fail against Bangladesh's oft-brash approach.

Online betting firm <a href='' target='_blank' class='instorylink'><B>Sky Bet</B></a> has Bangladesh at 16/1 in the <a href='' target='_blank' class='instorylink'><B>betting</B></a> for victory in the first Test. Visit Sky Bet for the latest cricket betting.

<b>Probable Teams</b><br><i>Bangladesh:</i> Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Mohammad Mahmudullah, Tamim Iqbal, Mohammed Nazimuddin, Shahriar Nafees, Shakib Al Hasan, Naeem Islam, Nasir Hossain, Elias Sunny, Shahadat Hossain, Shafiul Islam.

<i>Pakistan:</i> Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Taufeeq Umar, Younis Khan, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Adnan Akmal, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Umar Gul, Aizaz Cheema.

<b>Dates:</b> 17-21 December <br><b>Morning session:</b> 9:30-11:30 (03:30-05:30 GMT)<br><b>Afternoon session:</b> 12:10-14:10 (06:10-08:10 GMT)<br><b>Evening session:</b> 14:30-16:30 (08:30-10:30 GMT)

<b>On-field umpires:</b> Billy Doctrove and Shahvir Tarapore<br><b>Third umpire:</b> Local appointment<br><b>Match referee:</b> David Boon