Visiting Pakistan fought back on the second day picking up the last five wickets of Bangladesh for 27 runs to restrict the host to 332 in the first Test of Dan Cake two-match Test series at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna, Bangladesh, reports BSS.
Despite a confident 63-run partnership between Mushfiqur Rahim and debutant Soumya Sarkar, which helped the home side cross the 300-run mark, the remaining batsmen failed to utilize the advantage because of their careless batting.
Resuming on the overnight score of 236 for 4 the second day (Wednesday), the Bangladesh batsmen failed to handle the Pakistani bowlers, losing wickets at regular intervals that allowed Pakistan to fight back just after the lunch break.
In conditions that had improved even more for batting, the Bangladesh batsmen were guilty of throwing their wickets away. The wobble was triggered by the wicket of Sarkar, who had scored 33 off 55 balls before top-edging an intended hit down the ground off Mohammad Hafeez towards cover. Asad Shafiq ran in from cover and completed a diving catch at wide mid-off to end a fluent partnership.
Eight balls later, Mushfiqur lobbed an easy catch to cover on 32 as he pushed at a short and turning delivery from Yasir Shah. Yasir added the wicket of Taijul Islam in his next over to make it four wickets in the first session for Pakistan, before Wahab Riaz cleaned up the tail immediately after lunch.
Pakistan had made a perfect start to the day. Zulfiqar Babar, who had removed Mominul Haque in the last over of the first day, got rid of Shakib Al Hasan in the fourth over of the morning. The batsman charged down the pitch to a flighted delivery but only managed a fine inside edge which was smartly snapped up by a diving Shafiq at leg-slip. Shakib had added only six runs to his overnight score of 19.
But with Mushfiqur intent on soaking up the pressure, Pakistan were made to wait. Compact in his defence against both Wahab and Zulfiqar, Mushfiqur waited 27 balls before hitting his first boundary, a front-foot drive off Wahab. But thereafter, he stuck to his strengths, picking up four more boundaries off the spinners with powerful sweeps and back-foot strokes.
That Bangladesh’s scoring-rate remained healthy in the session was, however, due to the urgency that came with Sarkar’s arrival. Playing his first Test innings, Sarkar showed over-eagerness at the start; his first shot was an aerial drive that landed short of mid-off and he was lucky that that a mistimed slog off Zulfiqar beat the mid-on fielder. But once his nerves settled, Sarkar had no trouble rotating the strike.
Using his reach, Sarkar laced an elegant cover drive off Zulfiqar to hit his first Test boundary off his 34th delivery. He went on to hit three more fours through the same area.
Zulfiqar leaked runs towards the end of his spell, with the second boundary in his ninth over bringing the 50 of the partnership between Mushfiqur and Sarkar. Misbah-ul-Haq finally brought in Hafeez after 19 overs and immediately reaped the reward, the offspinner forcing the left-hander to make a mistake in his second over. It was yet another case of a Bangladesh batsman failing to convert a start.
Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah were the best of Pakistani bowlers taking three wickets each for 55 and 86 runs respectively. They were well supported by Mohammad Hafeez and Zulfiqar Babor, who both picked up two wickets giving away 47 and 99 runs.
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