Bangladesh v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Mirpur, 1st day December 17, 2011

Shakib, Nafees rescue Bangladesh


Bangladesh 234 for 5 (Shakib 108*, Nafees 97, Cheema 3-52) v Pakistan
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Shakib Al Hasan and Shahriar Nafees showed that it was possible for Bangladesh batsmen to play shots without throwing their wickets away, with the country's first century partnership in Tests since June 2010. The duo batted for almost two sessions to rescue Bangladesh from what had looked set to be yet another low total, after Aizaz Cheema had reduced them to 43 for 4 in helpful morning conditions.

At no stage in their partnership were Shakib and Nafees subdued, and without doing anything reckless, put on 180 at more than three-and-a-half runs an over. Though the Mirpur track eased out completely after seaming around in the first session, Bangladesh had caved in for 135 on a flat Chittagong surface a week ago. With their Test status being called into question by some, they had everything to prove. Shakib and Nafees showed that there was more to Bangladesh cricket than a large and fanatical fan following.

Fog and dew had delayed the start by 75 minutes but also encouraged Misbah-ul-Haq to ask the under-pressure Bangladesh batsmen to face his fast bowlers - although Pakistan went in with only two of them as against Bangladesh's three. Cheema's morning spell read 8-2-18-3 but Shakib ensured he was kept out of the attack for most of the second session, hitting him for three fours in four deliveries soon after lunch.

Shakib's aggression forced Misbah to turn to his spinners but there was not much help for them from a pitch that had now revealed itself to be a typical flat first-day subcontinent pitch. Shakib continued to play positively against Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman, working them on the leg side, and driving and punching through extra cover. A back-foot punch off Ajmal brought up his 50 and he stepped out next ball to caress a flighted delivery to the extra-cover boundary to bring up the century partnership - Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes were involved in the previous one in Manchester, against England in June 2010.

Nafees had earlier showed his team-mates the way to play the fast bowlers on a surface that was aiding seam in the morning. Wary of edging angled deliveries to the four slips, Nafees aimed to play straight as much as he could. Though that meant letting go of a few scoring opportunities, he went hard when he was given width and pulled with panache. Nafees hammered Umar Gul's first delivery of his second spell through extra cover to reach his third 50 after his return to the Test side in August.

Going against the propensity of Bangladesh batsmen to implode after reaching half-centuries, both batsmen continued in the same vein after getting to their landmarks. With the light fading in the Dhaka winter, Shakib cut Gul for two boundaries in an over to move to 99 and brought the appreciative crowd to its feet with a characteristic chop through point to reach his second Test hundred. Nafees clattered Ajmal through extra cover to move to 97 but Gul sent down an accurate bouncer in his next over to have him gloving it to the wicketkeeper. By then, though, Bangladesh had restored their pride, and Pakistan had looked clueless for the first time in three weeks on this tour.

Things had looked almost predictably bleak for Bangladesh in the morning after Cheema, especially, and Gul were relentless in exposing the hosts' frailties. Getting sharp seam movement, Cheema had Nazimuddin padding up in his first over, though everyone except umpire Shavir Tarapore thought that the bounce would have taken the ball over the stumps.

Gul did not get the kind of movement off the pitch that Cheema managed, and in the absence of swing, he had to rely on his accuracy and the element of surprise. After Tamim Iqbal had tentatively survived against several pitched-up deliveries, Gul dug in the bouncer in his fourth over. Tamim did what Tamim does, and the top-edged hook was taken safely by Cheema at fine leg.

With Bangladesh bringing in a fast bowler at the expense of Mohammad Ashraful, Mahmudullah was given a promotion in the batting order to No. 4. It didn't work, as Cheema rattled Mahmudullah's stumps first ball with one that nipped in between bat and pad.

Nasir Hossain, who had batted as low as No. 8 in the first innings in Chittagong, was sent in at 21 for 3. He looked thoroughly uncomfortable initially, stabbing and getting beaten as the ball jagged around. Another prod at an away-going Cheema delivery produced the edge and ended in the gloves of Adnan Akmal to make it 43 for 4. Another Test involving Bangladesh could have been decided by the first innings, but for Nafees and Shakib.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 18, 2011, 7:13 GMT


  • Dummy4 on December 18, 2011, 7:09 GMT


  • Abdullah on December 18, 2011, 5:50 GMT

    Nafees and Hasan played really well, showed good composure and a lot of common sense. Pakistan's line up is calling out for a bowling all rounder..Hammad Azam maybe

  • narsimha on December 18, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    WHAT A STRANGE eterpretation,if any team perfomes admirably , to deam their efforts this is the justification we allowed them .otherwise no team on the earth can do any thing against this great team..

  • Dummy4 on December 18, 2011, 3:10 GMT


  • Dummy4 on December 17, 2011, 23:32 GMT

    The best line up for ODI right now would be Tamim, Aftab (agreeing with FrenchCricketFan), Nafees, Shakib, Mushfiqur, Nasir, Mohammadula, Razzack, Sunny, Shafiul, Rubel. As for test, they don't really have one unless you want the same thing. BD has a great bowling power for now but what they really need to produce at least 3 consistent players.

  • Dummy4 on December 17, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    Bangladesh needs to nurture Imrul Kayes and Raqibul Hasan in the line up consistently. As a team you have to invest in the available resources. Imrul has the ight mind set to balance Tamim. Ashraful should never have been tried in Test. Sending Mahmudullah up at No 4 is forcing the issue. Mahmudullah is good, but he is no No. 4 batsman. Nasir should be surrouned by senior batsmen. He should not be put on the fire pit to get cooked so early. He has mettle but he needs time to settle. Bangladesh needs serious investment in building the pipeline, specifically around bowling resources. Somehow, the physical abilities of the Bangladeshi bowlers are not congenial to international cricket. Like Imran BCCB need to go and search for tall bowlers. Even look out internationally for 6ft+ NRB youths to fill the pipeline for the future.

    Good day, Shakib today. Lets hope that you have an even grander Sunday. Stay not out and bat through.

  • Dummy4 on December 17, 2011, 20:57 GMT

    Playing your natural game never translated into charging good ball. You got to respect good balls and hit the bad ones with your natural game. Good job Shakib. He is best for BD and there is no second best.

  • Dummy4 on December 17, 2011, 20:04 GMT

    tmrw we are going to be bundled out by 300 or max 350. our bowlers are mediocre so i am expecting a huge pile of runs from the pakistanis. and then when we come to bat again we will post a lower total in our second innings which will eventually lead to our downfall. someone might say why i am i so pessimistic...well cos i have seen this scenario lot of times. we were just lucky today cos of one partnership or else it would have been the same old story of low score in first innings. cmon ICC take away our membership. I had enough of our countries cricket embarrassment.

  • Dummy4 on December 17, 2011, 19:53 GMT

    I happy for BD, this time we would have some contest.

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