Younis pushes Bangladesh towards massive loss
Bangladesh 134 for 4 (Shakib 41*, Nazimuddin 41*) and 135 trail Pakistan 594 for 5 decl. (Younis 200*, Hafeez 143, Shafiq 104) by 325 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq killed the last embers of Bangladesh's spirit with a 259-run stand, before Misbah-ul-Haq gave them temporary respite with a declaration. The relief proved to be a mirage, though, as Pakistan's spinners skimmed through Bangladesh's top order to leave them facing a heavy defeat with two days to play.
Younis finished with an unbeaten 200, and along with first-time centurion Shafiq, administered Bangladesh a lesson in crease-occupation. The hosts, however, did not seem to have taken away too many learnings; their batsmen betrayed poor skills and a lack of patience for the second time in three days. On a wearing wicket, Pakistan's multi-dimensional spin attack made a breach apiece, while Aizaz Cheema also contributed to leave Bangladesh 134 for 4 at stumps.
Tamim Iqbal's approach in the six-over phase leading up to tea suggested he wasn't going to change his style following the first-innings implosion. He escaped twice, missing a kamikaze on-the-up drive off Cheema, and a heave against the spin of Mohammad Hafeez, his bugbear. Hafeez dismissed him for the third time on the tour soon after tea, hitting the stumps with a harmless offbreak that Tamim inexplicably chose to leave. Shahriar was clumsy while pulling and loose while driving on his way to 28, before missing a sweep against Saeed Ajmal.
With the pitch taking prodigious turn after staying benign through the day, Abdur Rehman probed away with four men around the bat in addition to the extra-chirpy Adnan Akmal. Mohammad Ashraful duly exited for a duck, clueless against a Rehman delivery that drifted towards leg before spinning across to take a thin edge on the way to the slips. Nasir Hossain had batted out time while facing a tall target in the second ODI, but opted for flash ahead of graft today in a situation where the draw was both acceptable and viable. Faced with a Cheema bouncer, he went for a pull instead of the leave, and Mohammad Hafeez held a smart catch in the outfield to make it 80 for 4. Shakib Al Hasan counterattacked with a series of shots for the gallery, and Nazimuddin showed promise for the second innings in a row, but his effort once again only served to highlight the recklessness of his colleagues.
Earlier, Bangladesh's seamers produced pace and bounce to show the first signs of spirit in their ranks, but the fielders were too sloppy to make it count. Three balls into the day, Younis got to his 19th Test ton, glancing Shahadat Hossain through fine-leg for four. Shahadat promptly offered him a couple of freebies - one too straight, and the other too wide - and Younis looted boundaries to suggest the overnight break in play hadn't diminished his touch or appetite. Shahadat hit his straps quickly, though, and summoned an extra yard of pace to test Shafiq's technical flaws.
In his second over, Shahadat whipped down a bumper that reared up at Shafiq, who fended it uncomfortably off the glove. Shahadat persevered, and eventually elicited a top-edged hook with another menacing bouncer. The ball swirled towards Rubel Hossain at fine leg, who made an apology of an effort running in. Shahadat applauded Rubel's attempt, and it wasn't clear if he was being sarcastic or genuine. Shafiq capitalised and marched past fifty.
Rubel also worked up impressive speeds - at times touching 145kph - from his round the wicket angle. He set up a leg trap for the bouncer, and had Younis pulling without control on two occasions. The first top-edge spiralled towards Shahadat at fine-leg, who returned the favour to Rubel by backing out of a tough chance. The second one looped straight to deep midwicket, and Bangladesh surprised themselves by holding on, but it was a no-ball.
Thereafter, Bangladesh looked incapable of taking a wicket unless it was gifted. Shafiq creamed Rubel square, and drilled him straight for fours, forcing Mushfiqur Rahim to fall back on spin. Younis prospered with his trademark mix of shuffle-and-dabs and lean-and-sweeps to go past 150. With lunch around the corner, he swivelled back to smash Ashraful for six, and Shafiq shredded Shakib through the off side for boundaries.
Bangladesh took the third new ball as soon as it was available, but it only hastened Pakistan's progress. Shafiq was once again hurried by a bouncer - a weakness he will need to address before facing quality opposition - before reaching his century with a tuck off Elias Sunny. Shafiq perished soon after, testing the spread-out fields with an inside-out loft that ended in long-off's hands. Younis was unstoppable, though, punching Rubel Hossain for four, before slog-heaving Sunny over midwicket for a six. He reached his double-ton with a nudge through square leg. His second hundred had come off only 132 balls, and Misbah-ul-Haq seemed pleased as he applauded from the dressing-room, even as gestured for Younis and Adnan Akmal to come in. The declaration gave his bowlers 39 overs to make a mess of Bangladesh's reply.
Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo