From safety to defeat

Pakistan win Test series 2-0
An unlikely resistance came from Mushfiqur Rahim and Nasir Hossain on the fifth and final day but their efforts were not good enough for Bangladesh to save the second Test against Pakistan and sign off the year on a bright note yesterday.
Pakistan made a clean sweep by winning all matches on tour when they posted a seven-wicket victory over the Tigers at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, where the home team showed some character through man-of-the-match Shakib Al Hasan’s splendid all-round performance after a no-show in the first Test in Chittagong. Bangladesh looked competitive for the first time in the series during the second Test after surrendering meekly in the lone T20, three ODIs and first Test match. The most encouraging part in the second Test was that there had been three sessions in which the Tigers did not lose any wickets, which showed that this Bangladesh line-up were capable of batting with resolve, but the missed catches and poor umpiring undermined what could have been a better performance.
The Tigers’ well-documented tendency to collapse was on everybody’s minds when they resumed their second innings on 114 for five under foggy condition but the 117-run sixth wicket stand between Mushfiqur and Nasir kept Pakistan waiting for victory till the last session. On the other hand, things could have been different if the Bangladesh captain held his nerve at a crucial moment.
Bangladesh pushed close through brilliant batting from Mushfiqur and Nasir, who guided Bangladesh through the first session without any damage with the scoreboard reading 200 for five, but they fell short of holding on for a draw when an arm ball from left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman bamboozled Nasir, who saw his stumps dismantled.
But still hopes of a draw were alive until Mushfiqur made a mistake. The right-hander unnecessarily went down the pitch to charge Rehman but miscued his chip shot to see the ball landing in the safe hands of Saeed Ajmal at mid-off. That opened the gate for Pakistan to finish off Bangladesh’s longish tail.
Nasir top-scored with 79 off 172 balls with eleven boundaries while Mushfiqur his seven fours in his 53 off 143 balls. Their efforts helped Bangladesh score 234 runs in their second innings, leaving Pakistan to achieve chase 103 runs in 40 overs.
Pakistan scored quickly in their chase, wary of the bad light factor and reached the target for the loss of Mohammad Hafeez (47), Taufeeq Umar (3) and Azhar Ali (34) in 20.5 overs.
If playing one session without the loss of a wicket was the high point then the poor shot selection, which has been the main headache of the team for a while, from Mushfiqur was the low point of the final day’s play.
The first session belonged entirely to the home team, raising hopes of an honourable draw. They were just another good session away from safety, but Mushfiqur’s wicket at the worst possible time spoiled the party for the hosts, leaving a strong Pakistan to end their successful year in the best possible way.
But still, the Tigers can at least take some positives out of this match when they next play a Test, which will once again be after a long break.

-With The Daily Star input

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