Fri, 21 Jan 2022

Shaheen Afridi, openers put Pakistan on top in 202 chase

29 Nov 2021, 21:43 GMT+10

Stumps Pakistan 286 and 109 for no loss (Abid 56*, Shafique 53*) trail Bangladesh 330 and 157 (Liton 59, Yasir 36, Afridi 5-32) by 93 runs

After Shaheen Shah Afridi blew Bangladesh away in the second innings, Abid Ali and Abdullah Shafique blunted the home side from making any attempt to make a comeback in the Chattogram Test. Afridi took 5 for 32 before Abid and Shafique added 109 runs for the opening stand. Pakistan now need 93 runs to win, which seems pretty straightforward on the final morning.

Abid, who made 133 in the first innings, is unbeaten on 56 while Shafique became the fifth Pakistan player to score two fifties on Test debut. He was unbeaten on 53 off 93 balls with six fours and a six. The pair put on 146 for the opening stand in the first innings too. It was only the second time Pakistan openers added 100 runs in both innings of a Test.

Abid and Shafique hardly drove the ball forcefully down the ground, instead focusing on playing shots square of the wicket. They were steady since before the tea break, after Afridi - who picked his fourth five-wicket haul - helped bowl out Bangladesh for 157. Afridi took out the top three on the third evening, when he had Shadman Islam lbw, Najmul Hossain Shanto caught at slip and Saif Hassan stunned by another chest-high bouncer. In between Mominul Haque too got out playing a soft shot, leaving Bangladesh at 25 for four.

Mushfiqur Rahim's dismissal in the third ball of the morning amplified Bangladesh's problems. Hasan Ali bowled Rahim who shouldered arms to a delivery that nipped back in, following which Liton Das and Yasir Ali tried to renew Bangladesh's fortunes, but they hardly looked settled. Liton survived a missed stumping and a miscued hoick, while Yasir nearly ran himself out, and inside-edged a couple of boundaries.

Afridi put paid to Bangladesh's recovery at that stage when he struck Yasir on the back of his helmet with a bouncer, around the first hour mark. A concussed Yasir walked off after seven deliveries, and was sent for scans.

His concussion substitute Nurul Hasan struck three fours before playing a needless lofted shot, straight to long-on. Liton followed him back to the pavilion shortly, trapped lbw by Afridi, who then removed Abu Jayed with another rip-snorter that struck him on the gloves and grille, before reaching wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan.

Offspinner Sajid Khan finished the innings with his third wicket, when Taijul Islam was stumped for a duck.

Shaheen Shah AfridiAbid AliAbdullah ShafiqueBangladeshPakistanBangladesh vs PakistanPakistan in BangladeshICC World Test Championship

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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