By Andrew Fidel Fernando
Pakistan 557 for 8 dec (Azhar 226, Younis 148, Shafiq 107) and 195 for 6 dec (Misbah 82) beat Bangladesh 203 (Shakib 89) and 221 (Mominul 68, Yasir 4-73) by 328 runs
Bangladesh plummeted to a 328-run defeat in Mirpur, after several top-order batsmen showed little will to survive against a Pakistan attack making merry on a wearing track. Having arrived with effectively eight wickets in hand on day four – Shahadat Hossain unable to bat – Bangladesh were all out before tea, having lost six wickets for 57 either side of the lunch interval. A heavy defeat was always likely, after the hosts had given up a 354-run first-innings lead, but they will be disappointed at the limp finish to what has otherwise been a heartening tour.Yasir Shah was the primary threat in Pakistan’s attack, as he found bounce and turn from the footmarks to supplement his fine rhythm and variation. He took 4 for 73 and induced plenty more edges and mis-hits that fell into space. Imran Khan claimed two scalps, and Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Hafeez and Junaid Khan took one apiece. Misbah-ul-Haq sought to keep Yasir in action at one end, while he rotated bowlers at the other. The 1-0 Test series victory follows a whitewash defeat in the four limited-overs matches, for Pakistan.
The fourth day’s slide began with Tamim Iqbal, who exercised more caution than he had done on the previous evening, yet was drawn into a loose shot in Imran’s first over of the morning. Tamim threw his bat at a wide full-length delivery and edged the ball behind, not having accounted for Imran’s extra bounce. He was out for 42.
Mahmudullah’s tetchy 12-ball innings was defined by dangerous flirtations with Wahab’s bouncers, but it would be Imran who found his edge as well. Poking at a back-of-a-length delivery in the channel, Mahmudullah sent the ball to Younis Khan at second slip, who held the catch on second grasp.
Shakib Al Hasan edged his second ball through the gully, but continued to play his strokes, slog-sweeping Yasir for four as Mominul Haque progressed briskly alongside him. Ambition was Shakib’s downfall too. He ran at Mohammad Hafeez’s third delivery of the day and attempted to put the ball into the sight screen, but mis-hit it and was caught at mid-off. Mushfiqur Rahim was more careful, playing out eight scoreless deliveries, before he misjudged a Yasir legbreak and played it onto his stumps 15 minutes out from the lunch break.
Hopes of a Bangladesh resistance centred around Mominul as wickets tumbled at the other end. While other batsmen had been rushed by the bounce in the track, Mominul pulled and hooked Wahab with control, leaving alone the balls too high to drag down. He was quick-footed and decisive against the spinners as well, finding regular runs into the outfield off Yasir, who tested him with googlies in the morning. Mominul prospered behind the wicket in particular, all but one of his nine boundaries coming in that region. His fifty, which came off 83 balls, made him the fifth player after Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Viv Richards and AB de Villiers to hit half-centuries in 11 consecutive Tests.
Soumya Sarkar was caught down the legside off Wahab soon after lunch, and Mominul got out next over. He dabbed a wider Yasir ball behind point for four, then expecting the bowler to pitch fuller, ran down the pitch and aimed a lofted inside-out drive. His mis-hit went only as far as Asad Shafiq at cover, who held a sharp, low chance to his right.
That dismissal put Bangladesh at 143 for 7, and it was only a matter of time until two more batsmen faltered. Taijul Islam sent a top-edged sweep to short fine leg, before Shuvagata Hom threw his bat around for a 55-ball 39 with Mohammad Shahid for company. He eventually had a yorker sneak through his defences, to give Junaid his only scalp of the innings.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando
– EIN News
By Andrew Fidel Fernando