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Pakistan Seek Elusive Victory

Younis Khan
Runs for Younis Khan would be a huge boost for Pakistan as they bid to win in Dhaka
©REUTERS / Action Images
 

Match facts

Bangladesh v Pakistan, Second Test
Wednesday, 6th May, 2015
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka
Start time 10:30 local (04:00 GMT)

Preview

With the first Test ending in a draw, the focus is shifted to Dhaka for the second Test between Bangladesh and Pakistan.

In Khulna, Pakistan took a handy first innings lead but a solid reply from Bangladesh in their second innings meant that the Test could only end up as a draw. This will be the final match in this tour so Pakistan will want to win the match and go back home with at least one win in the bag.

Tamim Iqbal needs just 53 runs to become the most successful Bangladesh batsman in Test matches, overtaking Habibil Bashar.

If Younis Khan scores more than 50 then he will go past Mohammad Yousuf on the list of most scores of 50 or more in Tests for Pakistan.

Nevertheless, it will also be important for Bangladesh to continue their good performances and end the series on a high note.

Batting is looking good for Pakistan with debutant Sami Aslam finding his feet and giving his team a good start. Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali also played good innings in the first Test.

Their middle order is power packed thanks to the presence of Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq. Misbah has already retired from limited overs cricket and after not getting the desired result in the first Test, he will be under pressure going into the second Test.

He was criticized after the first Test for his field placement when the Bangladesh openers put on more than 300 for the first wicket. Misbah will also be questioned for his strategy of dropping Saeed Ajmal. Five of the top seven Bangladesh batsmen are left handers, so Ajmal could have been very handy.

Yasir Shah played the first Test and did not look that effective so Ajmal should be back in the team for the second Test. That’s the only change Pakistan can be expected to make, otherwise the whole team should be unchanged.

Bangladesh showed in the first Test that they are not only lions of limited overs cricket but that they can also upset any top side in the longest format of the game. Tamim Iqbal is in the form of his life and with Imrul Kayes and Mominul Haque playing around him, Bangladesh has a more than formidable top order, sound enough to tackle Pakistan's fast bowlers.

Cricket World's Predictions

Rohit Ranjan: I will go with Pakistan. I am expecting a more energetic performance from their fast bowlers and for them to bundle out Bangladesh cheaply twice.

John Pennington: I agree with Rohit. If there is anything in the pitch for the bowlers, and I hope for the benefit of a good contest, there is, Pakistan should be favourites, even though the bookmakers have the draw as the most likely outcome.

Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan are providing stability to the middle order. Bangladesh played well as a unit in the first Test so it’s very unlikely that they will be tempted to change that combination.

In Khulna, the pitch was not well suited for Test cricket as it didn’t offer any assistance to the fast bowlers. It was on the lower side and very slow. So, we should expect a sporting wicket at Dhaka where fast bowlers get some purchase at least on the first day.

Players to watch out for

Younis Khan threw his wicket away after getting a good start in the first Test so he would ideally want to get some runs here before the home series against Zimbabwe. He was in terrific form last season against Australia and Sri Lanka and scored back to back hundreds there.

Mominul Haque has everything that a good Test player requires and he has proved that in the international arena. He got 80 in the first innings and missed out in the second innings so will be eager to score big runs.

Probable Line-Ups

Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (captain, wk), Mahmudullah, Taijul Islam,  Shuvagata Hom, Shahadat Hossain, Mohammad Shahid.

Pakistan: Sami Aslam, Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Saeed Ajmal, Zulfiqar Babar.

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