Pakistan edge towards 1-0 lead as Tigers tire
This game is heading in only one direction unless Pakistan do a Pakistan. The visitors are more than halfway through the chase, and Bangladesh will need a near-miracle if they are to make history and claim the first-ever win against Pakistan.
Bangladesh would have hoped to pick up some early wickets and put the pressure right back at Pakistan after setting the visitors a target of 202 runs on the fourth day, But they failed miserably, Pakistan had their best day in the Test match, thus they are in the driver's seat after the end of fourth day's play in Chattogram. This game is heading in only one direction unless Pakistan do a Pakistan. The visitors are more than halfway through the chase, and Bangladesh will need a near-miracle if they are to make history and claim the first-ever win against Pakistan.
The visitors only need 93 more runs to win having all their wickets intact. Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque used all his four weapons, mostly the two spinners, but nothing was good enough to break the opening partnership between Abid Ali and Abdullah Shafique.
The Pakistani opening duo ended the day on an unbeaten 109-run stand from the 33 overs they played. This is only the second time ever that Pakistan's openers have put on century stands in both innings. The first was against South Africa in 2003. Chasing down 202 in the fourth innings was expected to be a bit tricky as there was a suggestion of uneven bounce and movement of the ball. But Abid Ali and Abdullah Shafique blunted the home side from making any attempt to make a comeback in the Test.
Abid and Shafique were off to a good start, with the former targeting Ebadot Hossain in particular. Ebadot was clocking in excess of 140 kph and troubled Abid, even forcing Bangladesh for a caught-behind review, which, however, was not successful. Shafique was solid at the other end, rotating the strike well while he also did not allow the Bangladesh spinners to settle down.
Bangladesh's hopes of turning it around in the final session didn't materialise as Abid and Shafique continued scoring at a steady rate to put Pakistan in pole position. Abid mistimed a pull that fell short of the fielder while Shafique survived a Bangladesh review for lbw, which were the only moments that kept the hosts interested. The boundaries, meanwhile, continued to flow as Bangladesh's spinners weren't consistent enough with their lines despite some help from the pitch.
Both openers crossed fifty for the second time in the game. Abid, who made 133 in the first innings, is unbeaten on 56 while Shafique became the fifth Pakistan player to score two fifties on his Test debut. He was unbeaten on 53 off 93 balls with six fours and a six.
Bangladeshi bowlers were toothless. Spinners Taijul Islam and Mehidy Hasan Miraz bowled 27 overs among the 33 bowled in the day. Taijul gave away 37 runs from the 16 overs that he bowled at an economy rate of 2.30 while Miraz gave away 36 runs from 10 overs at a 3.60 economy rate.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan bowled out Bangladesh for 157 runs in the second innings with Shaheen Shah Afridi taking 5 for 32, his fourth five-wicket haul, following up his ten-wicket haul in Pakistan's previous Test.
Mushfiqur Rahim was trapped in front by Hasan Ali in the first over of the day but Bangladesh managed to make good progress thanks to a good stand between Liton and Yasir. Both batters batted with a lot of intent, scoring regular boundaries despite Pakistan coming at the sixth wicket pair with all their might. But the partnership came to an abrupt halt when Yasir walked off the field after the 31st over. He was struck on the side of his helmet in the 30th over.
Liton then built a few little but useful partnerships (25 and 38 respectively) with Miraz and Nurul Hasan Shohan, who replaced Yasir Ali as a concussion substitute, to stretch the lead past 200. But Afridi came back to restrict Bangladesh cheaply, getting Liton out LBW before bagging his fifth when he got Abu Jayed to glove the ball to the wicketkeeper. Taijul was the last to depart, stumped off Sajid who finished with three wickets.
Liton picked up yet another fifty after his maiden hundred in the first innings and was dismissed for 59. Yasir bagged 36 before he was retired hurt while Sohan and Miraz scored 15 and 11 respectively.