Shaheen shines as Pakistan reduce Bangladesh to 39-4 on day 3 of first Test

Bangladesh’s Taijul Islam claimed his ninth five-wicket haul while Abid Ali hit a century for Pakistan as the first Test remained delicately poised in Chittagong on Sunday.

The hosts bowled out Pakistan for 286 at the stroke of tea on the third day to take a 44-run lead into the second innings thanks to the mesmerising bowling of Taijul, who finished with 7-116.

But Pakistan struck back in spectacular fashion with Shaheen Afridi dismissing Shadman Islam (one), Najmul Hossain (zero) and Saif Hasan (18) to finish the day at 3-6 and reduce Bangladesh to 39-4 at stumps.

Hasan Ali also scalped the wicket of captain Mominul Haque for a duck to rob the hosts of their advantage.

Mushfiqur Rahim remained unbeaten on 12 alongside debutant Yasir Ali, 8 not out.

Ali earlier made 133 off 282 balls, holding one end for Pakistan for a long stretch after Taijul’s early strike of two wickets in two balls in the day’s first over.

Faheem Ashraf added 38 late in the innings to keep Pakistan in contention before he was last man dismissed.

Pakistan, who resumed on 145-0 and looked poised for a big total, suffered an early setback when Taijul trapped debutant Abdullah Shafique leg-before on his fifth ball.

Shafique left without adding to his overnight 52, and Taijul took Azhar Ali for a duck in the very next ball when the delivery hit him on the foot.

Azhar was initially given not out but the decision was reversed on review.

Babar Azam saw off the hat-trick ball in Taijul’s next over but did not survive long. Mehidy uprooted his off-stump with a straight delivery after the Pakistan skipper made only 10 runs.

Taijul grabbed his third wicket when he beat Fawad Alam with spin to remove the batsman for eight.

Bangladesh sought a review after the umpire turned down a confident caught-behind appeal. The replay indicated the ball took a feather touch on Alam’s glove, ending his brief stay at the crease.

Ali, who struck 12 fours and two sixes, was also lucky to survive after he was dropped at slip by Najmul Hossain off Taijul at 113.

He was dropped again by Yasir Ali at forward short leg on 133 but it did not cost Bangladesh much, with Taijul taking him leg before two balls later.

Pakistan had by then lost Mohammad Rizwan to Ebadot Hossain, who bowled 2-47.

Earlier, opener Abid Ali hit his fourth Test century to help Pakistan reach 203-4 at lunch amid Bangladesh spinners’ domination on day three of the first cricket Test on Sunday.

Pakistan was 127 runs behind Bangladesh’s first-innings total of 330.

Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam pegged back Pakistan’s innings with 3-70 but Abid, who was on 127 at lunch, remained steady in the crease. Mohammad Rizwan was on 5.

Taijul struck in the first over of the day, dismissing Abdullah Shafique and Azhar Ali via a review in consecutive deliveries after Pakistan resumed the day on 145 for no loss.

Shafique couldn’t add any runs to his overnight total of 52.

Abid, who started the day on 93, flicked Taijul past square leg for two runs to reach his century off 209 balls.

Skipper Babar Azam appeared to be in control before offspinner Mehidy Hasan’s quicker delivery rattled his stump for 10.

Taijul, who was bowling unchanged from one end in the morning session, used his flight and variation well to curb the aggression of the Pakistan batters. He struck again when he spun a ball sharply to dismiss Fawad Alam (8), also via review.

DAY TWO:

An unbroken opening century stand by Ali and Shafique gave Pakistan a solid platform after bowling out Bangladesh for 330 on day two Saturday.

By the end of the day, Ali closed in on his fourth Test century to stay unbeaten on 93 while Shafique was batting on 52 as Pakistan reached 145-0 at stumps.

“In the afternoon, it started to spin a bit. The ball was old. So it was gripping and doing a few other tricks. Our plan was that we have to stay at the wicket and utilize the bad balls,” Ali said after the day’s play.

Pace bowler Hasan Ali led Pakistan earlier with the ball, finishing with 5-51, his sixth five-wicket, which kept Bangladesh in check after the hosts resumed with 253-4 in the morning.

Liton Das top-scored with 114 for Bangladesh, adding just one run to his overnight score, while Mushfiqur Rahim, unbeaten on 82 at the end of the opening day’s play, fell for 91 runs.

Hasan struck an unbeaten 38 to take Bangladesh past 300 before he claimed two wickets in two balls to bring an end to Bangladesh’s efforts with the bat.

“When we lost four wickets before lunch, everyone thought we would be bowled out early. Mushfiqur and I put together a good partnership,” said Liton.

“By the end of the day, we were thinking about a big total. But cricket is unpredictable. Pakistan are in a good position now. If we can take two or three wickets tomorrow morning, we will be back on par.”

Pakistan had Bangladesh on the ropes on day one at 49-4 but the hosts fought back thanks to Liton and Mushfiqur.

Pakistan looked sharp right from the start of the second day’s play when Hasan trapped Liton leg-before in the second over of the morning.

Struck on his backfoot, Liton was initially given not out but Pakistan successfully reviewed the decision.

Liton, who shared 206 runs with Mushfiqur in the fifth wicket, hit 11 fours and a six in his 233-ball innings.

Hasan then dismissed Yasir Ali for four with a fine in-swinger that rattled the leg and middle stumps of the debutant.

Faheem took a thin edge from the bat of Mushfiqur, effectively ending Bangladesh’s chance for a big total.

Mushfiqur struck 11 fours in his 225-ball stay at the crease.

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