Bangladesh Make A Slow But Solid Start To Their Test Campaign
Bangladesh 236-4 (Mominul 80) v Pakistan
First Test, Khulna, day one
Every batsman got a start but only Mominul Haque made it count to an acceptable level as Bangladesh ended day one of their first Test against Pakistan in Khulna, on 236 for four.
Bangladesh won the toss and opted to bat. Junaid Khan (0-40) started proceedings for Pakistan, with a review for lbw from the third ball of the innings, as Imrul Kayes (51) shouldered arms to a length delivery.
However, it was turned down, the ball missing off-stump.
There was a faint drizzle at the start of the Test that didn’t interrupt too much.
Both the opening batsmen were extremely cautious and conservative, crawling to 14 for no loss after 10 overs before spin was introduced.
Zulfiqar Babar (1-55) almost got the breakthrough in the 18th over as Imrul played an aggressive stroke to long-on only for the ball to just clear Yasir Shah for a four.
Tamim Iqbal (25) had his share of luck too as Mohammad Hafeez (1-38) dropped a tough chance at short leg, once again off the bowling of Zulfiqar.
Yasir (1-58) was unlucky too as a sharp chance off his bowling at short leg was dropped, Imrul the fortunate batsman.
However, Tamim fell just a couple of overs before lunch. Yasir picked the wicket, a quicker delivery getting Tamim to edge one onto his pads before being caught by Azhar Ali at short leg.
There was some doubt over the bowler overstepping but the benefit of doubt interestingly went in his favour.
Bangladesh showed some positive intent after lunch getting a four almost every over.
However, Imrul after reaching his fifty in the 41st over with a couple, immediately perished lobbing a simple catch to the bowler Hafeez trying to push the ball to the leg-side.
This was also Hafeez’s first international wicket after remodelling his action.
Babar’s bad day continued as he dropped Mominul (80) himself as the batsman charged down the wicket and hit one straight back to him.
Pakistan’s poor day in the field showed no signs of abating as early in the 48th over, when Wahab Riaz (1-40) had a catch dropped off his bowling, an edge from Mahmudullah (49) going between first and second slip.
One of the main events of the second session was Wahab’s scary beamer that almost hit Mominul and couldn’t even be stopped by the wicket-keeper.
Bangladesh went into tea at 150 for two after 59 overs, both Mominul and Mahmudullah playing themselves in with thirties.
There was no sense of urgency in the post-tea session either.
However, Bangladesh’s brightest prospect, Mominul scored yet another Test fifty with a nudge towards deep mid-wicket.
Almost to make up for all the dropped chances, Pakistan got a wicket against the run of play with a blinder of a catch and an excellent delivery. Wahab bowled one outside off in the channel, angling away getting Mahmudullah’s edge.
Even as it was dying on its way to first slip, Sarfraz Ahmed, the wicket-keeper, took the onus and completed the diving one-handed catch.
There was a review the very next ball for a catch off Mominul’s bat but the batsman survived the appeal.
Misbah-ul-Haq took the new ball three overs after it was due. Interestingly, Hafeez got to bowl it in the fourth over, getting hit by Mominul for two fours.
Surprisingly, the spinners got full charge of the new ball too.
Bangladesh’s circumspect approach didn’t pay off much as they lost a wicket at the stroke of stumps and a critical one at that too, of Mominul.
Babar, after many missed chances, trapped Mominul with a ball that gripped and spun a bit, hitting the batsman plumb in front of the middle stump. Bangladesh reviewed the call but to no avail ending Mominul’s 162-ball knock.
That was how the day ended too, Bangladesh on 236 for four with Shakib Al Hasan (19 not out) to resume his innings on day two.
All the bowlers, with the exception of leg-spinner Yasir, went for under three per over, showing the discipline with which Pakistan had bowled all through the day.
Wahab was yet again the pick of the bowlers and looked to be the one most likely to pick up more wickets as four different bowlers opened their wickets’ account.
© Cricket World 2015