Hafeez, Younis punish average Bangladesh
Pakistan 415 for 4 (Hafeez 143, Younis 96*, Shafiq 40*) lead Bangladesh 135 (Rehman 3-9) by 280 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Mohammad Hafeez strolled unimpeded to a century, and Younis Khan got to within touching distance of one, as Pakistan subjected Bangladesh to a comprehensive lesson in crease-occupation. After the chaotic batting from Bangladesh on the first day, the action swung to the other extreme on the second morning as Pakistan blunted the minimal threat posed by their opponents, before gradually moving out of their sight.
Despite it being the weekend, the home fans chose to stay away as their side took a beating for the second day running. Bangladesh had neither the skill nor the discipline to dent Pakistan's now customary Test-match resolve. The seamers, Shahadat Hossain and Rubel Hossain, bowled spells of ornamental value, but the spinners - Elias Sunny and Mahmudullah, in particular - tested the rougher patches on the pitch with flight and rip. However, they couldn't accomplish much against batsmen well-versed in the art of milking spin.
While Shahadat bowled pedestrian lines, Mahmudullah resumed his overnight battle with Taufeeq Umar from the other end, and persevered with loop and turn. Having edged several times while leaning out on the first evening, Taufeeq chose to play Mahmudullah off the back foot as much as possible. More than once, he left alone balls alarmingly close to offstump, and looked at his most vulnerable when reaching out. Hafeez stayed put to defend a series of length balls from Shahadat's end, and Bangladesh strung together five successive maidens to create an illusion of control.
Hafeez resumed progress with a languid cover-driven boundary off Shahadat, but Taufeeq needed 23 balls to score his first run for the day. He even summoned the spirit to advance down the track and loft Mahmudullah for a straight four, but the bowler deservedly had him leg-before with a quick, flat offbreak.
Hafeez carried on as if he hadn't noticed his partner's struggles, steering Rubel past gully before threading Mahmudullah through the covers to reach his fourth Test ton. His celebration was almost mechanical as he pulled off his helmet and kneeled down to perform the sajda, before breaking into a smile.
Azhar Ali was uncharacteristically edgy to start off. He repeatedly charged out of the crease to the spinners, and on one such instance barely cleared mid-on. He was also beaten comprehensively by a huge spinner from Sunny, before being pegged on the back foot by an arm-ball that took a thin inside edge onto the pad. Shahadat finally got him to bottom edge a wide ball to the wicketkeeper to leave Pakistan 220 for 2.
Younis walked in with his accumulation-mode turned on, and rolled into gear with a smooth cover drive off Sunny. Hafeez thumped a Rubel Hossain bouncer in the 80th over so effortlessly that Mushfiqur Rahim took the second new ball as soon as it was available. Younis should have been run out immediately, but Shahriar Nafees missed the stumps and the two fielders backing up comically let the ball escape for four overthrows. Shahadat kept bowling inexplicably short, without the pace or trajectory to back it up. Hafeez took him for fours on either side of the stumps before pulling uppishly to Sunny, who couldn't even get his hands to a tumbling chance at midwicket.
With the bowlers and the fielders looking helpless, Bangladesh needed a poor umpiring call to get a wicket. Hafeez inside-edged a Sunny arm-ball onto his pad, but Billy Doctrove adjudged him lbw. Misbah-ul-Haq pulled his first ball straight at Nafees who had no chance of holding on at short leg, before edging a drive off Shahadat straight past Nafees at slip, who, like Sunny earlier, didn't manage to even touch it.
Misbah couldn't cash in, though, and missed a loopy Sunny full toss to be caught plumb in front. The loss of his favoured partner in defence seemed to ignite a spark of aggression in Younis, and he dispatched Shakib through point, cover and fine-leg to reach his fifty. He then skated out of the crease to dump him for a straight six, in the process chugging past 6000 Test runs, as Bangladeshi shoulders began to slump. It was the moment Pakistan were waiting for, after staying cautious for much of the day.
Sensing the slackening intensity, Asad Shafiq kicked off by heaving Sunny over extra cover, and launching Shakib straight for sixes. Suddenly, Bangladesh were forced to do away with the extra catchers they had employed through the day. That didn't stop the run-flow, though, as both batsmen swept and steered efficiently to pick up boundaries. With stumps approaching, Younis made a concerted dash towards his ton, slamming Mohammad Ashraful straight and slapping Shakib to midwicket for boundaries to reach 96. Shafiq couldn't give him the strike in the day's final over, though, but Younis didn't seem too perturbed.
Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo