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Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das fight back after early losses

Shaheen Afridi celebrates Saif Hassan’s wicket with team Pakistan. Photo: AFP

Bangladeshi batters Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das fought back Friday after an early setback in the morning session of the first Test against Pakistan being played at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chattogram.

Pakistan’s bowlers had reduced Bangladesh to 69 for four at lunch after Mominul Haque won the toss and decided to bat first. At the break, Mushfiqur Rahim was on five and Liton Das on 10.

As usual, Shaheen Afridi was the first bowler to get Pakistan a breakthrough, bowling a deadly bouncer to Saif Hassan, who was unable to duck and instead, sent it into the hands of Abid Ali.

Hasan Ali then dismissed Shadman Islam, trapped lbw. Najmul Hossain Shanto hit a couple of boundaries before he was dismissed by an excellent catch by Sajid Khan off a Faheem Ashraf delivery.

Sajid Khan took Mominul Haque’s wicket, with the batter getting out after softly edging one straight into the hands of wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan. 

The Men in Green, fresh off an impressive T20 World Cup campaign, quickly brushed off their disappointing semi-final loss against Australia by registering an impressive 3-0 victory over hosts Bangladesh.

Bangladesh, on the other hand, have failed to find their form even after a dismal T20 World Cup campaign. Their batting was unable to withstand the Pakistani bowling onslaught, failing to give a tough time to Pakistan’s pace battery in each of the three-match T20 series.


Pakistans playing XI in first Test against Bangladesh.
Pakistan’s playing XI in first Test against Bangladesh.

As far as the head-to-head record goes, Pakistan have played three series in Bangladesh and won five of the six Tests the two teams have played. Pakistan’s last win came in Dhaka, in May 2015, when they trounced Bangladesh by 328 runs. 

Azhar Ali and Mushfiqur Rahim are the only players from either sides who are still playing.

Azhar had scored 226 and 25, while Mushfiq scored 12 and zero as Azhar walked away with the player of the match, which will also be remembered for centuries from Younis Khan (148) and Asad Shafiq (107) as well as match figures of 36.3-7-128-7 by Yasir Shah, who will miss the series as he is yet to recover from a thumb injury he sustained during the National T20.

It will be a special debut for Abdullah Shafique, who will make his debut against Bangladesh in today’s match. The right-handed batsman, who has impressed in Pakistan’s domestic cricket so far, has been chosen by skipper Babar Azam to play instead of the more experienced left-handed batsman Imam-ul-Haq. 

Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain, wicketkeeper), Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Hasan Ali, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan and Shaheen Shah Afridi

Bangladesh: Mominul Haque (captain), Shadman Islam, Saif Hasan, Najmul Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Nurul Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nayeem Hasan, Taijul Islam, Ebadot Hossain Chowdhury, Abu Jayed Chowdhury, Yasir Ali, Mahmudul Hasan, Rejaur Rahman.