Bangladesh Openers Lead Impressive Fight Back With Big Tons
Bangladesh 332 & 273-0 (Tamim 138 no)
Pakistan 628 (Hafeez 224)
Bangladesh train by 23 runs
First Test, Khulna, day four
Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes scored unbeaten tons to lead Bangladesh fightback against Pakistan at stumps on day four of the first Test in Khulna narrowing a mammoth 296-run first innings deficit to just 23.
Pakistan resumed the day at 537 for five, Asad Shafiq (83) and Sarfraz Ahmed (82) the overnight batsmen.
Bangladesh’s problems continued as Imrul Kayes, the stand-in wicket-keeper was cramping, forcing Mahmudullah to take up the gloves.
Although Sarfraz was aggressive, he missed a well-deserved century going at a strike-rate of over 93.
After close to an hour’s play, Sarfraz chipped one straight to mid-on to give Bangladesh their first breakthrough of the day.
Taijul Islam (6-163), Bangladesh’s best bowler continued his good work, picking Wahab Riaz (0) in the very next over.
Shafiq was steady enough to put the loose balls away bringing 600 up for Pakistan.
Yasir Shah (13) came all guns blazing and managed to smash a few fours just before the new ball was taken.
Strangely, Shakib Al Hasan (1-146) bowled the first over with the new ball and stranger still, he picked Shafiq’s wicket straightaway, the batsman charging him but chipping one straight back to him.
Yasir went the very next over, trapped in front of the wickets. Yasir asked for a review but it was not confirmed if there was an inside edge and the batsman had to walk back.
Zulfiqar Babar (11) smashed a six and four before trying one too many shots and getting stumped in the process.
Bangladesh successfully managed to orchestrate a lower order collapse. They came back beautifully, picking the last five wickets for just 34 runs as Pakistan went from 594 for five, Sarfraz and Shafiq adding 126 for the sixth wicket, to 628 all out.
For Bangladesh, Taijul was the stand-up bowler picking a six wicket haul at an average of 27.
Bangladesh openersTamim (138 not out) and Kayes (132 not out) had to survive four nervous overs before lunch which they managed well.
What followed next was absolute class as the Bangladesh opening pair played out two full sessions without losing their wickets.
In the process they brought down the deficit from 296 to just 23 runs.
Tamim was the main aggressor smashing two fours off Wahab (0-57) very early in the innings. Junaid Khan (0-44) who was largely ineffective in the first innings went for runs too.
Playing positively Tamim brought up his first fifty against Pakistan with a stylish reverse sweep off Babar (0-60) following that up with a six over long-on. He reached his half-century in just 63 balls.
While Tamim was scoring at nearly run-a-ball, Kayes picked up speed after settling down, both batsmen particularly harsh on Mohammad Hafeez (0-46).
Tamim survived a very close lbw call which turned out to be marginal, Pakistan using up both reviews.
Bangladesh went to tea at 142 for no loss in just 31 overs, Kayes having brought up his fifty with a four too.
Tamim raced through the 90s cracking two fours off Junaid, the second bringing up his century, continuing his fine run so far in One-Day Internationals and Tests.
His century came in just 123 balls. Bangladesh brought up their 200 in just the 46th over.
Kayes suffered from cramps but that didn’t help Pakistan as Hafeez went for a six and four straight after play resumed.
The duo also broke the record for Bangladesh’s highest first wicket stand in Tests, with a Tamim four that took the score to 226 for no loss.
Kayes hit a six in his 90s and brought up his own ton off Babar with a sweep. Interestingly, Kayes took off after his ton, almost reaching Tamim’s score for the day having played nearly the same number of balls.
Between them, the two batsmen hit 28 fours and seven sixes going at a whopping run-rate of 4.47 per over.
It was all hardwork for Pakistan bowlers, Hafeez and Junaid going at over five per over. Babar was the most economical, bowling 16 overs.
© Cricket World 2015