Bangladesh v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Mirpur, 4th day

Pakistan in charge despite Shakib's six-for

The Report by Siddarth Ravindran

December 20, 2011

Comments: 50 | Text size: A | A

Bangladesh 338 and 114 for 5 trail Pakistan 470 (Taufeeq 130, Misbah 70, Azhar 57, Akmal 53, Shakib 6-82) by 18 runs
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Adnan Akmal whips the ball to the leg side, Bangladesh v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Mirpur, 4th day, December 20, 2011
Adnan Akmal made his first Test half-century to build Pakistan's lead © AFP
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Shakib Al Hasan became the first Bangladesh player to score a hundred and take a five-for in the same Test, but that wasn't enough to stop Pakistan from taking charge of the second Test in Mirpur. Shakib's importance to the outcome of the match was highlighted by Pakistan's jubilant reaction to his dismissal late in the day - in the exuberance of the celebration, Younis Khan was pushed over by one of his team-mates.

Pakistan's batsmen made unrelenting progress in the first half of the day - Adnan Akmal reached his maiden Test half-century and Misbah-ul-Haq completed his seventh Test fifty of the year to stretch the first-innings lead to a healthy 132. In contrast, the Bangladesh batting's perennial struggle to put up strong performances in both innings of a Test continued, and they slid to 114 for 5 by close.

It was a typical beginning to the innings. Tamim Iqbal started as though it was a Twenty20, cracking five boundaries in his 21 before falling in the final over before tea. It was a dodgy decision as he was ruled out after the ball ricocheted off his helmet to slip. He stood around making his displeasure clear, and pointing to the helmet to indicate where the ball hit him, actions which are likely to earn him a meeting with the match referee.

To make it worse, off the next ball, Umar Gul removed Shahriar Nafees lbw for a golden duck to spark thoughts of a familiar top order collapse. Like the light in Mirpur, Bangladesh's chances also began to fade early.

Gul got the new ball to jag around, and though he couldn't complete the hat-trick after tea, he thoroughly examined the batsmen's technique outside off. Aizaz Cheema wasn't as incisive early on, but returned to take two big wickets - Mahmudullah and Shakib. Both dismissals were due to a long-standing problem with the Bangladesh batting - poor shot selection. Mahmudullah looked to flatbat a delivery that was well outside off, top edging it to deep point and Shakib steered a catch to backward point.

One of the other reasons for the home side's troubles at the Test level is the lack of quality medium-pacers, and they were unimpressive again on the fourth morning. That prompted Mushfiqur Rahim to give marathon spells to the left-arm spin pair of Elias Sunny and Shakib. Sunny bowled through the entire morning session, while Shakib had sent down a 23-over spell by the time Pakistan's innings ended.

Comfortably placed at 292 for 3 overnight, Pakistan were expected to be more adventurous on the fourth morning to set up a declaration, but the dismissal of Younis in the second over of the day led to a more measured approach. Sunny struck in his first over, getting the ball to jump and turn, and Younis nicked it to the wicketkeeper as he looked to defend.

Neither Misbah nor Asad Shafiq are known for an aggressive brand of batting, and there was plenty of caution in their partnership early on. Only three runs were scored in the first seven overs of the day, before Misbah broke free with a couple of boundaries in a Nazmul Hossain over. Shafiq also got going with consecutive fours off Shahadat Hossain, but once Sunny and Shakib started to bowl in tandem, the run flow subsided again.

Misbah, to his credit, attempted to push the tempo with an array of sweeps - delicate paddles from outside off, reverse-sweeps and powerful conventional ones to try and throw the spinners' off their line and length. The partnership swelled past 50, before Shakib finally had reward for his tight bowling - Misbah falling to the sweep, top-edging to slip.

The Bangladesh fielding was again below par: Robiul Islam shelled a simple chance at mid-on, Mahmudullah dropped another at slip and there was another let down at midwicket by Sunny.

Bangladesh's spirits were lifted when Shafiq was given a tight lbw appeal, but Abdur Rehman and Akmal played a series of strokes to take the lead close to 100. Rehman then fell to a catch at slip, and the rest of the tail was mopped up by Shakib.

As if a century to rescue the team from 43 for 4, and then scooping up six wickets wasn't enough, Shakib was expected to prop Bangladesh up with the bat in the second innings as well. He wasn't able to, leaving Bangladesh needing something of a miracle to save the Test on a track where Pakistan's potent spin attack was getting plenty of help.

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 20:55 GMT)

Shakib is the lonely warrior for Bangladesh- Ramiz Raja I agree with Ramiz completely. Bangladesh is relying too much on one player. The management is doing nothing to improve their domestic league and bring out new players of international standard. One man can not win a test match. Test cricket is a real team game. Anyway, congrats to Shakib for this achieving this amazing feat

Posted by atuljain1969 on (December 21, 2011, 6:34 GMT)

For all these years I have analysed that one reason for Bangladesh consistent failure at Test cricket is because of the reason that they keep changing their 1st eleven from one test to other. Hardly they have repeated their 1st eleven, due to this consistent chopping and changing of players, players are not exposed to demand of test cricket in continuity.

Due to above, player are not putting up matured performance. There selectors must understand that Bangadesh players seem to different temperament and they require much more time to understand how they are to approach test cricket.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 6:28 GMT)

Bad Umpiring !!

I believe the umpires needs be questions for this kind unprofessional decisions. I am wondering how ICC is planning to improve the cricket game, with these kind of umpiring, it may be millions of miles away to improve the game. Also, commentator like Ramiz Raza needs to watch his irrelevant comments against Bangladeshi team. I sure don't like to see his ugly face on the commentator box. I am sorry but this is how I feel.

Posted by musa441 on (December 21, 2011, 4:37 GMT)

to all those who think that pakistan's run rate is the major problem well last year in 2010 pakistani batsman failed badly in australia and england just becoz they played like ODI in tests and ket on fetching the balls which shud be left alone so they failed and everybody said pakistanis don have test temperament. now after a long time our batsmen have started to occupy the crease and they are yet again taunted by some fools that they shud play aggressively. well team's victory is more important than your entertainment. its a sport its not an entertainment show like WWE. so just think again and look on the positive side of the pakistan team rather than crictisizing them all your life!!

Posted by dmqi on (December 21, 2011, 3:56 GMT)

ICC, please give two REAL elite panel umpire for England-Pak test series next month. We are tired of seeing poor umpiring. May be Aleem Dar and a South African/Newzeland umpire will be fine. Is there any demotion system for umpires?

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 3:53 GMT)

I wonder what measures they have against bad umpiring. Clearly this was a display of below standard. It was bad enough to watch BD struggle, on top of that you got umpires who can't really see much and giving inaccurate decisions way more than the acceptable tolerance levels. Way too many bad calls. UMPIRES SHOULD NEVER BE GIVEN A CHANCE TO CHANGE THE COURSE OF THE GAME. It's plain BAD for any type of game. Stricter measures should be implemented. Things that are beyond human grasp can be captured through using high tech measures and these types of methods should be vigorously enforced. We can't be held HOSTAGE by these people anymore. Worst case scenario, fire them and find new candidates.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 3:34 GMT)

Play for whole day and create example for others that Bangladeshi Batsman can play test cricket. It is very much pushing and heartbreaking to hear or read dismal performance of BD as usual. We like to see BD at the top of cricketing nations. Since cricket is very popular in Bangladesh, so it is not unwise expectation by every Bangladeshi. Hope for the best.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 3:25 GMT)

Bd is quite unlucky team. I know the application of players in second innings were poor but the way Tamim and Shahriar were given out, this is nonsense umpiring. Both the umpire should be scrutinized. Sorry for BD team.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 1:48 GMT)

I am Pakistani, but I love cricket.. I do respect whichever player or team is playing good cricket.. No doubt that Bangladesh is a very good team and they have the will to do something extra.. I have seen all the past 4 days very closely and what I have come up with is; "BANGLADESH FIELDING and CATCHING", that led them down..

It was the same case with Pakistani team about an year ago.. They were used to give a lot of extras, miss-fields and catches that turned them in to a bad team. But now they have come up on those problems and current year's result is in front of everyone..

Instead of blaming Umpires (because the decision cannot be reversed). I am 100% sure, if BD team improves their fielding and catching, they can easily become no 4 to 5 on list very quickly.. They have much talent. May be good coach(es) can be a better option.. I wish them best of luck for future...

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 1:46 GMT)

@Modasar be respectful with your opponent...Pakistan is great against Bangladesh, Kenya....and under dog against India, Australia..England..

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