Slick Pakistan Dominate Disappointing Bangladesh
Bangladesh 135 (Abdur Rehman 3-9) v
Pakistan 132-0 (Mohammad Hafeez 74no)
First Test, Chittagong, day one
Pakistan dominated proceedings on the opening day of the first Test against Bangladesh to the degree that they were just three runs short of establishing an overall lead at the close of play in Chittagong.
Spinners Abdur Rehman and Saeed Ajmal shared six wickets to rip through Bangladesh, who were bowled out for 135 before openers Taufeeq Umar and Mohammad Hafeez carried the tourists to stumps at 132 for nought.
Pakistan won the toss and chose to bowl and although the pitch had little demons in it, they dismissed Bangladesh in 51.2 overs as quick bowlers Umar Gul and Aizaz Cheema bagged themselves a brace of wickets apiece.
Hafeez, who also opened the bowling, was unbeaten on 74 and Umar on 53 at stumps.
After Hafeez had bowled three overs for nine, Misbah-ul-Haq switched to Cheema and within four balls he had the dangerous Tamim Iqbal caught pushing outside off stump by Adan Akmal for nine and Shahriar Nafees (0) soon followed when he edged the same bowler to Younus Khan.
Mohammad Ashraful's latest recall lasted just 11 balls, the former captain making one run before pushing uncertainly outside off and edging Gul to wicket-keeper Akmal.
Ajmal then struck to get Mushfiqur Rahim horribly tangled up as he played back and was trapped in front for four while Abdur had Shakib Al Hasan caught sweeping by Hafeez for eight.
Debutant Nazimuddin showed solid resistance on debut, crashing some attractive strokes through the covers to hit five boundaries, his style not too dissimilar to that of Virender Sehwag, without the explosive scoring rate and he batted through the morning session to make 31 in 79 balls before he was caught by Hafeez off Gul.
That left the score 71 for six and with Bangladesh reeling, it was left to Mahmudullah (18) and Nasir Hossain (41) to add a mite of respectability to their score but the pair could add just ten runs before Mahmudullah was trapped in front by Ajmal.
Nasir, Bangladesh's form player during the recent One-Day International series, crashed seven fours and a six which suggested number eight in the order is at least three places too low for him on current form of those around him until he was the last to fall when he scooped Rehman straight up in the air and was safely held by Azhar Ali.
He had seen Elias Sunny (2) and Shahadat Hossain (8) do their best to offer him support and allow the score to pass 100 before they were dismissed by Ajmal and Rehman respectively.
Left-armer Rehmamn returned figures of three for nine from his 6.2 overs while Ajmal picked up three for 40 from 18.
With 38 overs to bat until the close, there was time for Bangladesh to make inroads and at least put Pakistan under some pressure but they did not look close to taking a wicket until captain Rahim turned to his spinners - Mahmudullah, Shakib, Sunny and Nasir.
Untroubled early, Umar struggled against Mahmudullah in particular and a couple of edges either just fell short or slipped through gaps in the close field and he survived to reach his 12th Test half-century and third against Bangladesh.
Even that came with a large slice of good luck as after Shakib flighted one up tempting him to take on the field, he did so and shouldn't have cleared Shahadat at mid on but the chance was spilled allowing the left-hander through for a couple of runs.
Hafeez was far more solid and typically more fluent at the other end, hitting nine fours in 116 balls, the pair making a new record for consecutive appearances together at the top of the order for Pakistan.
11 Tests in a row have they opened the batting but rarely have they been given an easier ride.
© Cricket World 2011