Monday, May 20, 2024

Pakistan clinch face-saving win

Pakistan ended their month-long disastrous tour with a face-saving win when they crushed Bangladesh by 328 runs in the second Test with a day in hand in Dhaka on Saturday. The Tigers, chasing an improbable target of 550 and resuming on 63-1, collapsed in a quick span of time to be dismissed for 221 runs in their second innings on the fourth day. Only Mominul Haque offered a fragile resistance to top score with 68, joining West Indies great Vivian Richards and the Indian duo of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir for scoring at least one fifty in 11 consecutive Tests.
The win came for Pakistan after being blanked 3-0 in the one-day series and losing to Bangladesh for the first time in a Twenty20 international. They were also on the receiving end of a record-breaking stand in the drawn first Test in Khulna.
It also ended a purple patch for Bangladesh at home where they remained unbeaten for the last 13 matches starting from home series against Zimbabwe in October-November.
The defeat was always on the card ever since Bangladesh tilted in the first innings to concede a massive 354-run deficit. They had Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq to thank for not enforcing a follow-on which could have inflicted an innings defeat.
Misbah may have spared them the ignominy but the Tigers helped themselves little to put up an improved show, collapsing without offering any real challenge to the Pakistani bowlers.
It all began with Tamim Iqbal, who had the chance to overtake Habibul Bashar as the leading run scorer for Bangladesh in Tests if he could score 48 runs in this innings.
But the opener fell for 42, adding just 10 to his overnight score before edging Imran Khan behind the stumps.
Mahmudullah ended his dismal series with yet another cheap dismissal as Imran grabbed his second wicket in the morning to turn the screw on the Tigers.
Younis Khan picked up the catch on second attempt in the second slip as Bangladesh slipped from 86-1 to 95-3.
With Sakib al Hasan joining Mominul at crease few attacking shots lifted the mood of some 3,000 crowd, who defied the gloomy weather to turn up at the stadium.
However, their joy lived only for a short time as Mohammad Hafeez deceived Sakib with flight in his first over for Wahab Riaz to take a simple catch at mid-off.
If Bangladesh had still any chance to take the game into the fifth day it was gone once Mushfiqur Rahim dragged a delivery from leg-spinner Yasir Shah onto the stumps.
Mushfiq, who celebrated his 28th birthday later in the dressing room, had a day to forget otherwise, having suffered his second duck in the series, which left Bangladesh at 134-5 at lunch.
Pakistan were in no mood to release the pressure and struck in the first over after the break through Wahab, who removed Soumya Sarkar just for one.
Yasir ended the resistance of Mominul in the next over as Asad Shafiq took a low catch diving to his right at cover.
Yasir then added Taijul Islam (10) before finishing with 4-73 that took his match tally to seven wickets.
Shuvagata Hom finally showed that he has some batting in him to hit 39 runs and share a ninth-wicket stand of 44 with Mohammad Shahid to steer Bangladesh past the 200-run mark.
The match ended at the fall of Shuvagata, yorked bowled by Junaid Khan as Shahadat Hossain was unable to bat after suffering a serious knee injury on the first day.

-With New Age input

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