Bangladesh Vs Pakistan Test Series
First Test Played at Rawalpindi from 7th February 2020
Bangladesh 233 all out in 82.5 Overs ( MohammadMithun 63, Nazmul Hossain Shanto 44, Liton K Das 33, Mominul Haque 30,Mahmudullah Riad 25, Taijul Islam 24 , Shahin Shah Afridi 4/53, Harris Sohail 2/11 and Mohammad Abbas 2/19)
Bangladesh appearing in Pakistan for playing test cricket after 17 years batted the entire first day (82.5 overs) scoring 233 all out on a green wicket and under murky sky. In their last test at Kolkata Eden Gardens a day night encounter Bangladesh managed to play a total of 71.4 overs in both innings put together. From that point of view and appreciating the fact that the team did not melt after getting reduced to 3/2 (the openers Tamim and Saif) back in pavilion by the second over 233 is no mean achievement. Five batsmen, the top two and last three had scores (3,0,1,0 and 0). Against a very potent and aggressive pace battery on a pacey wicket six batsmen had scores between 24 and 63. Bangladesh has reasons to consider this an improvement. But the fact that none could convert their innings to anything substantial would definitely matter in the final count. For bad light Pakistan did not come to bat. Bangladesh would only hope that their bowlers would exploit the condition and fielders would take their chances in their endeavor for restricting the home team within reachable score .The direction which the test would be heading would be known by the end of day two.
On a greenish wicket in chilly overcast condition Azhar Ali had no hesitation in putting Bangladesh to bat after winning the toss. Much was expected of prolific Tamim Iqbal and his young mate SaifHasan but nothing was delivered. Debutant Saif could play only two deliveries of left arm pacer Shahin Shah before nicking to Asad Shafique in the slips in the first over scoring a dreaded duck in his very first innings in test. Tamim played around a straight delivery of Mohammad Abbas and was plumb in front. Bangladesh was reduced to 2/3 before the Friday spectators could even settle down. The horror of the last two tests that Bangladesh played against India came to the memory. But fortunately young NazmulHasan and skipper Mominul Haque braved in the situation. 59 quality runs were added in the 3rd wicket till a brain freeze by Mominul cost him his wicket. He poked at aAfridi delivery leaving him depositing it to the gloves of wicket keeper Rizwan. Mominul was looking good scoring 30. Mahmudullah joined Nazmul and the pair survived till end of the extended first session of Friday. Abbas was bowling fast and in the right channel. Afridi was moving the ball prodigiously. However, Bangladesh batsmen played their strokes whenever opportunity came. 95/3 at lunch was a pretty good going considering 3/2 by the second over.
Unfortunately Nazmul lost his cool and immediately after lunch he was prized out by accurate Abbas nicking behind the wicket for 44. Mahmudullah was living charmed life at the wicket. He was also soon gone caught in the slips by Asad Shafique off Afridi. Bangladesh was reduced to 107/5. Mithun and Liton das came together. These two produced the partnership of the day applying themselves against very top quality pace attack of Abbas, Afridi and Naseem Shah. Both were looking good. Azhar in desperate attempt for dislodging the partnership resorted to Plan B bringing in left arm occasional spinner Harris Sohail in the attack. The move immediately paid dividend as Liton was trapped LBW for 33. Bangladesh was reduced 6/161 with tail exposed. Mithun was playing well and Taizul gave him good company. 53 runs were added in the 7th wicket partnership taking the score beyond 200. Taijul also was removed by Harris for 24. We know about 9, 10 and jack of Bangladesh. Bangladesh could last till 82.5 overs and was all out 233. Mithun with 63 was the top scorer. Shahin Shah Afridi was the wrecker in chief taking 4 /53. Harris took 2/11 and Abbas bowling 17 overs took 2/19.
Bangladesh batsman scored 100, 200 and even 300 in slow low easy paced wickets over the last two weeks. On a lively wicket against quality pace attack the quality of Bangladesh batting was once again sadly exposed . However, some intent for fight were seen. Hope BCB will realize their challenges. At least some venues of Bangladesh would have green top bouncy wickets for making their bowlers and batsmen ready for playing test cricket in such condition in the future.
In Bangladesh attack Taizul and Rubel have some experience. It is to be seen how little experienced Ebadat and Jayed bowl. They should try to bowl consistently at the right channel taking a leaf of Abbas. None has express pace of any three of Pakistan bowlers and hence line and length would be the key. Hope Bangladesh gives a good account of their competence for playing test.
BDST: 1153 HRS, FEB 08, 2020