Pakistan bat themselves into control of Test against Bangladesh

Test cricket
Pakistan

Abid Ali and debutant Abdullah Shafique gave Pakistan a solid platform with an unbroken opening stand after they bowled out Bangladesh for 330 on day two of the first Test in Chittagong on Saturday.

At stumps, Ali was closing in on his fourth Test century unbeaten on 93 while Shafique was batting on 52 as Pakistan reached 145-0 at stumps, 185 shy of Bangladesh’s first-innings total.

Pakistan might feel in charge of the Test but with the ball starting to turn they will need a first innings lead to claim ascendancy.

“In the afternoon, it started to spin a bit. The ball was old. So it was gripping and doing a few other tricks. Our plan was that we have to stay at the wicket and utilise the bad balls,” Ali said after the day’s play.

Fast bowler Hasan Ali led Pakistan with the ball, finishing with 5-51, his sixth five-wicket haul in Test cricket, which kept Bangladesh in check after the hosts resumed with 253-4 in the morning.

Liton Das’ 114 was the top score for Bangladesh, but he added just one run to his overnight score, while Mushfiqur Rahim, unbeaten on 82 at the end of the opening day’s play, fell for 91 runs, and the Tigers effort came crashing down.

Mehidy Hasan struck an unbeaten 38 to take Bangladesh past 300 before he claimed two wickets in two balls to bring an end to Bangladesh’s efforts with the bat.

“When we lost four wickets before lunch, everyone thought we would be bowled out early. Mushfiqur and I put together a good partnership,” said Liton.

“By the end of the day, we were thinking about a big total. But cricket is unpredictable. Pakistan are in a good position now. If we can take two or three wickets tomorrow morning, we will be back on par.”

Bangladesh were on the ropes on day one at 49-4 but the hosts fought back thanks to Liton and Mushfiqur.

Pakistan looked sharp right from the start of the second day’s play with Hasan striking a crucial blow when he trapped Liton leg-before in the second over of the morning.

Pakistan break Bangladesh open

Struck on his backfoot, Liton was initially given not out, but Pakistan successfully reviewed the decision and got their man.

Liton, who shared 206 runs with Mushfiqur in the fifth wicket, hit 11 fours and a six in his 233-ball innings.

Hasan then dismissed Yasir Ali for just four with a fine in-swinger that rattled the leg and middle stumps of the debutant and let him know he is in the big time now.

Faheem took a thin edge from the bat of Mushfiqur, effectively ending Bangladesh’s chance for a big total.

Pakistan will resume 185 runs behind Bangladesh but with every chance of building a big first innings lead.

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