KARACHI: Hosts Bangladesh continue to strengthen their profile across all formats of international cricket as a 312-run opening stand and Tamim Iqbal’s first-ever double century allowed them to register their first draw against Pakistan in nine attempts in Khulna.
Bangladesh resumed the fifth day on 273-0, still trailing by 23 runs, but the script did not change at all with the day as Tamim and Imrul Kayes played freely to complete their respective 150s in the process.
Kayes brought about his own downfall when he tried to take on the mid-off fielder at the boundary off Zulfiqar Babar but failed to middle the shot and was picked up by substitute Babar Azam.
Kayes made 150 runs off 240 balls with three sixes and 16 boundaries and Bangladesh’s highest-ever partnership came to end.
Mominul Haq (21) and Tamim took the battle forward but Mominul was found wanting by Junaid Khan, who went through his defences to shatter his stumps.
It was turn of World Cup hero Mahmudullah to score some runs with the wicket getting slower and slower and Pakistan bowlers tiring.
Tamim kept on charging the bowlers from the other end and became only the second Bangladeshi batsman to score a double century. His onslaught was cut short by Muhammad Hafeez as Tamim was stumped by Sarfraz Ahmed on a personal score of 206 which came off 278 deliveries laced with seven sixes — a new record for Bangladesh — and 17 boundaries.
Bangladesh never really bothered against as they finished on 555-6 in 136 overs. Shakib alHasan remained unbeaten on 76, while Shuvagata Hom was not out on 20 when the match ended. Junaid and Hafeez picked up two wickets apiece while Asad Shafiq and Zulfiqar Babar got a scalp each.
Draw akin to win for Bangladesh
Former cricketer Basit Ali said that it is not a draw but a victory for Bangladesh and a loss for Pakistan.
“If you look at the history and the impact of this result, this is certainly a big win for Bangladesh and not a draw,” Basit told The Express Tribune. “It is no less than a loss for Pakistan to play out a draw against them. There is a big question mark on our spinners and spin bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed because the spinners did not bowl well.”
Meanwhile, former captain Rashid Latif believes that Bangladesh have succeeded in their strategy to play out a draw by preparing the slow pitch.
“Bangladesh have succeeded in their strategy to draw the match and this is the reason why such a slow track was prepared for this match,” said Latif. “I believe that the pitch was the talking point in this match because batting was way too easy on it and you can’t really blame the bowlers.”
Latif added that Bangladesh’s poor first innings show was due to complacency. “It was so easy to manage the ball that most of the runs were scored on the backfoot,” he added. “Pakistan dominated well in the Tests but Bangladesh came back really strongly to surprise everyone. In my view, Bangladesh had a laidback approach which is why they played so poorly in the first innings, otherwise I was expecting them to score 400 in it as well.”
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