2nd Test: Bangladesh crumble as Pakistan tighten screws

The fizz and bite in Yasir Shah’s leg-spinners made a return, so did the movement in Junaid Khan’s new ball deliveries


Emmad Hameed May 07, 2015
Pakistan cricketer Yasir Shah (2L) celebrates with his teammates after the dismissal of the Bangladesh cricketer Imrul Kayes during the second day of the second cricket Test match between Bangladesh and Pakistan at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on May 7, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: At long last, a potent Pakistan made a long over-due return to Mirpur. The tour that brought the game to its knees has rekindled some hope in the longest format as Pakistan throttled the hosts on a near perfect day at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium.

The fizz and bite in Yasir Shah’s leg-spinners made a return, so did the movement in Junaid Khan’s new ball deliveries. Wahab Riaz too produced a snorter on a lifeless track.

The much maligned Pakistan bowling attack was on song and perhaps more determined than ever after Bangladesh’s magnificent counteract which brought them a miraculous draw at Khulna.

Junaid Khan is thrilled with the wicket of Tamim Iqbal. PHOTO: AFP

 

The verve and spite in the bowling effort was a sight painfully missing in the second innings as Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes unfurled one boundary after another in the epic partnership at Khulna.

But this time around it was all doom and gloom once Junaid found a way past Tamim’s defences in the very first over of the Bangladesh reply to Pakistan’s monumental 557-8 (dec).

Mominul Haque, who batted with great concentration in the first Test, was undone by an innocuous Junaid offering outside the off-stump, but Junaid — sporting an Army cut hairdo — had set the left-hander up brilliantly with a series of in swingers and Mominul was somewhat forced to flash at the ball.

Kayes was sent packing by a sharp leg-spinner by Yasir in his opening over and the cat was well and truly among the pigeons by now.

Wahab bowled a screamer at the World Cup twin centurion Mahmudullah who could only fend it off to a gleeful Azhar Ali at short-leg.

Mushfiqur Rahim was troubled time and again by Yasir and the leg-spinner reposed the confidence of the team management in his skills by castling the Bangladesh captain with a superbly delivered wrong-un a ball before stumps.

Mushfiqur’s demise capped off a remarkable day for Pakistan after Azhar had notched his maiden double-century, while Asad Shafiq posted his sixth hundred in the longest format.

Azhar Ali scored his maiden double-hundred. PHOTO: AFP

The two added 207-runs for the fifth wicket after Misbahul Haq perished in the second over of the day. Shafiq provided the perfect foil to the obdurate Azhar, who took 406 balls to reach the magical 200-run mark for the first time.

After the disappointments of the ODI series the newly installed captain of the 50-over format made full use of a tired and increasingly ordinary bowling attack. Shafiq must be pleased with his effort too; unlike Azhar, he played at a healthy strike-rate and reached his ton off 149 balls.

Misbah and the coaching staff must be lauded too on the timing of their declaration. On the eve of the tea session, Pakistan lost four wickets for 27-runs and rather than spending more time in the middle, the think tank gave the tired Bangladesh batsmen two tricky hours to deal with before close.

With five wickets in the kitty, the bowlers well and truly sealed the day and to stave off a defeat at Mirpur, Mushfiqur’s charges would need an even more herculean effort than Khulna.

COMMENTS (2)

MJ | 6 years ago | Reply Bangladeshi fans should not overly criticize their team. They have done better than expected in the last year or so.
US CENTCOM | 6 years ago | Reply Good show by the Pakistani team. There is a reason this team is ranked third by the ICC among test playing nations. Looks like Pakistan is in a position to convincingly will the match and retain its ranking. Abdul Quddus DET - U.S. Central Command
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