January 7, 2002

Pakistan tour opener ends in tame draw

The three-day match in BKSP between Bangladesh A and Pakistan ended in a draw today. With an overnight lead of 159 runs, the Pakistanis batted for two more sessions in the third and the final day. As a result the match finished without any sort of excitement.

The left-handed Shahdab Kabir and Taufeeq Umar batted slowly on a foggy morning to add 90 runs before lunch. To everyone's surprise Pakistan batted on instead of declaring. Tareq Aziz trapped Umar lbw for 36 when the total was 194.

Wicket-keeper Rashid Latif made 29 before retiring; Razzaq joined Shahdab and hit three fours and three massive sixes to delight the crowd. Finally Enamul Haque removed him by shattering his off-stump. The all-rounder made a rapid 41 off 54 balls.

Shahdab was deprived of his hundred as he lost patience and tried to lift Fahim Muntasir over the long-on fielder who held the catch firmly.

Surprisingly Waqar Younis decided to promote his lower order for batting practice, abandoning the idea of declaring and taking a chance to win the match. He, Saqlain, Shoaib and Danish Kaneria batted for hours, letting the crowd watch their defensive technique. When Pakistan finally declared at tea on 242 for seven, there was nothing left to enjoy.

Shoaib Akhtar uprooted the off-stump of Mehrab Hosaain for a duck when Bangladesh had made just two runs after tea. At 13 they lost Nafiz Iqbal, who edged a Razzaq delivery to Rashid Latif. Sensible batting from Hannan Sarkar and Tushar Imran eased the pressure and Bangladesh ended on 53 for three. Hannan's wicket was taken by burly Inzamam-ul-Haq, who is very much an occasional bowler.

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