Bangladesh v Pakistan, 1st Test, Chittagong, 1st day December 9, 2011

Pakistan make reckless Bangladesh pay


Pakistan 132 for 0 (Hafeez 74*, Taufeeq 53*) trail Bangladesh 135 (Nasir 41, Nazimuddin 31, Rehman 3-9, Ajmal 3-40) by three runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The Bangladesh top order graced the first day of the Chittagong Test with a display of carelessness, to make a masterstroke of Misbah-ul-Haq's strange decision to bowl on a flat pitch. The senior batsmen - Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Ashraful and Shakib Al Hasan - led the way, succumbing to three of the more atrocious shots of the morning, and the lower order followed suit in the afternoon. Bangladesh were eventually dismissed for 135 in less than two sessions, proving additional strength to the growing criticism of their Test status.

The situation would have been worse had Nazimuddin not batted with more grit on debut than some of his colleagues have shown in the entire year. His 31 and Nasir Hossain's free-spirited 41 contributed more than half the total. The Pakistan openers - Mohammad Hafeez and Taufeeq Umar - put Bangladesh's performance and the pitch in perspective with an unbeaten 132-run stand.

Obduracy is not beyond Bangladesh - they routinely give up stiff ODI chases and bat out time, as they did in the second ODI - but they refuse to show that characteristic in the format where it is a pre-requisite. Bangladesh underlined why they hadn't managed even a draw against a full-strength top-flight side in over 10 years, without assistance from the weather.

Misbah undermined his decision to bowl by handing the new ball to Mohammad Hafeez - the first time a Pakistan spinner was bowling the first over of a Test. The experiment was quickly shelved after Hafeez's bunny, Tamim, survived his first three overs. Aizaz Cheema replaced Hafeez, and angled his fourth ball across Tamim, who responded with a loose drive away from his body and edged behind. In Cheema's next over, Shahriar Nafees fell for a duck while defending in front of his body without decisive footwork.

While Cheema specialised in big inswingers bowled from wide of the crease, Umar Gul settled into his usual mix of legcutters, indippers, and tempting half-volleys. Mohammad Ashraful's comeback lasted 11 balls, before he produced a mirror-image of Tamim's dismissal. The away-going delivery was not quite there for the drive, but he threw his hands at it and nicked behind.

Mushfiqur Rahim started with a promising off-drive for four, but Saeed Ajmal trapped him in his first over with a sharp offbreak. Shakib produced the illusion of stability by hanging around for eight overs, before the rash-stroke epidemic got to him. With ten minutes to go for lunch, and men around the bat, he swept Abdur Rehman straight to square leg.

Nazimuddin battled through it all, showing exemplary judgement against short balls and swing. He repeatedly dropped his wrists and swayed out of line when tested by bounce, and covered the line of length deliveries. A series of rasping drives showed that he belonged, before he betrayed his inexperience with two needless flirts outside the off stump. The first edge landed short of the slips, but the second carried to Hafeez.

By now Ajmal had settled into his nagging lines from round the wicket, tossing up doosras, sliders and offbreaks from similar trajectories. Mahmudullah was lbw playing back to a slider, while Elias Sunny nicked another to slip. Nasir did the right thing in the circumstances, chancing his arm while he still had partners. The best of his shots came against Cheema, whom he pulled, glanced, hooked and drove for boundaries. He also heaved Ajmal for a six down the ground, and eased him through the covers for four as Bangladesh nursed hopes of getting to 150. They were denied by another hare-brained shot, when Nasir paddled Rehman onto his jaw en route to silly point.

After tea, Hafeez began an afternoon of accumulation by flicking his first ball for three. As always Hafeez's driving was top-class, but Bangladesh's indiscipline also allowed him to cut and glance for early boundaries. Shahadat Hossain and Rubel Hossain bowled six listless overs that yielded 33 runs before Mushfiqur brought on his crew of spinners.

Whenever the spinners over-pitched, Taufeeq was completely at ease, driving and flicking with a strong bottom hand. That prompted a change in approach from Bangladesh's spinners - the one department in which they can claim to be world class. They shortened the length, and Taufeeq repeatedly pushed in hope with an opened face as the ball spun away. The edge inevitably followed, but Mushfiqur could not hold on. Mahmudullah got Taufeeq edging three more times - on either side of Nafees at slip, and once on the bounce.

Hafeez had no such worries, though, and strolled past fifty with a cover-driven four. Shahadat then dropped Taufeeq in the final over, denying Bangladesh the sliver they could have taken out of the day.

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 10, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    AUSTRALIA scored 136 all out in their first innings against New Zealand in 51 overs and New Zealand in their turn scored 150 in 1 ball less 46 overs. Will any one comment about this performance the same way did Cricinfo reporter or jubilant Pakistan supporters. I wish not. They will continue to play Test Cricket.

  • mohammed on December 10, 2011, 6:01 GMT


  • Dummy4 on December 10, 2011, 5:32 GMT

    Seems like a contest between amateurs and professionals :-). To think that Pak isnt the best team in the world and emerging from its own shadows, just shows how badly BAN are playing at this point. ICC must review its test status every few years to keep level of cricket and interest at highest level of the game intact.

  • Salman on December 10, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    Well its not BNGl fault at all. I think ICC and BNGL Board must take measures to improve BNGL domestic circuit and they should have giving more 4-5 days format to local players so they can improve for sure. I am not sure for BNGl but as a Pakistani, I know we are playing cricket from very first day of our childhood and the Game itself bounded in our nature and it may the reason of getting natural players like Afridi and etc.

  • arpit on December 10, 2011, 4:04 GMT

    @Mahmood Hassan, Yesterday NZ were at 150 all out, Today they restrict AUS to 136 all out. Did Bangladesh show any fighting spirit like NZ. 2nd NZ playing away from home, Story always remains the same for Bangladesh, Bangla 150 all out and Opposition 650/5 Declared.

  • fazle on December 10, 2011, 3:25 GMT

    I hope Stuart Law is reading this : Considering the continuous failure of the top order, we need to make the top order the new bottom order ! Also, guys in form can face the new ball. So, 1. NAZIMUDDIN 2. NASIR 3. MAHMUDULLAH 4. SHAKIB 5. Mushfiqur Rahim 6.Tamim 7. Shahriar Nafees 8. Ashraful and then the bowlers. AND FROM THE NEXT TEST, JUST DROP NUMBERS 6,7 AND 8 ! THEY HAVE REACHED THEIR LEVEL OF INCOMPETENCE. AND LOOK HARD FOR A NEW NUMBER 5. Lots of new talent waiting in the wings.

  • Nathan on December 10, 2011, 0:39 GMT

    Do not belong in international cricket. Get them out of here

  • Manoj on December 9, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    @TeamSelector I think it's pretty evident why Misbah decided to bowl first. His plan was to wrap Bangladesh's innings for 135 and end the day with their own unbeaten partnership of 132. Don't you see?

  • Dummy4 on December 9, 2011, 21:57 GMT

    ummm. Can't defend Bengledesh. They consistently bat badly. People can forgive the odd or even occasional bad performance, but every time you bat? Sorry no. Not good enough. Personally i feel Test should be played in two leagues. Eng, Aus, SA, India, Sri and PAk in Div one and then WI, Bang, Ire, Neth, Kenya, Afgan and a few other is div two. Every two years the top and bottom swap over. This hopefully would allow the worst (formwise) team to go down and the better div two team to up. The side that goes up gets extra money to improve infrastucture thus helping developemnt. Most importantly Bang would be playing similar ability teams and Ire (for example) get their shot at the dogs. At present This is embarrassing and can't be helping Bang development?

  • Dummy4 on December 9, 2011, 20:44 GMT

    hafeez u best man!!!!

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