Alesha Holding Pakistan VS Bangladesh Test Series
2nd Test Played at SBNCS, Dhaka from 4-8 December 2021
Brief Scorecard at Sumps Day One.
Pakistan 161/2 in 57 Overs (Babar Azam 60*, Abid Ali 39, Azhar Ali 36* , Asadullah Shafique 25, Taijul Islam 2/49)
On a slow low traditional turning wicket Pakistan winning the toss and batting first reached 161/2 by tea on day one of Dhaka test. When bad light stopped play as Bangladesh captain refusing to carry on bowling with spinners Pakistan looked comfortably placed. Two southpaw spinners Taijul and Shakib turned red ball square even in the first session . Even then relatively less experienced Abid and Asad battled out to a 59 runs first wicket partnership. Taijul made double blow taking out both the openers by 70. But very accomplished Babar Azam (60*) and seasoned batsman Azhar Ali (36*) applying their best skills rallied Pakistan around. By tea Pakistan reached 161/2. The day hardly witnessed any sunshine. After tea light started dimming. Play was still possible if Mominul agreed to continue with spin. But he refused. Umpires offered light to Pakistan and the play was stopped for the day. It is sad that Bangladesh did not have the new ball attack that could exploit swing friendly day one condition. Taskin and Rahi could be better pair on the morning.
Having (0-1) fallen behind in the series Bangladesh has to win the test for avoiding series white wash. Bangladesh has already been whitewashed in T20 series. It looks likely that Pakistan would post a comfortable first innings score unless Bangladesh strike early and take wickets at regular interval. Even 350 runs first innings score may turn enough for Pakistan. Batting on such surface on day four and five would be hugely challenging. It was good toss to win for Pakistan.
Bangladesh provided another youngster Mahmud Hasan Joy opportunity for breaking into test arena bringing him into the test arena . It was a bit of a comfort for him as under cloud cover it could be huge challenge for him encountering red-hot Afridi and Hasan Ali if Pakistan opted to bowl.
Anyway Pakistan read the wicket well and did not risk playing Shakib, Taijul and Mehedi in the last Innings. I found no point resting Yasir Ali for the match. Shadman was not required. Joy and Shanto could have opened the innings letting Yasir build his confidence. Bangladesh gambled with weak top order yet again. With no time left for New Zealand tour such gamble may prove counter productive. Taskin was possibly not risked for the test and preserved for the more important tour. What would happen if Bangladesh has to digest comprehensive series white wash? Hope Bangladesh fights well and make Pakistan fight for every run and every wicket. Lot is at stake for Bangladesh in SBNCS over the next four days in the month of the Victory.
BDST: 0850 HRS, DEC 05, 2021