Bangladesh is facing the threat of an innings defeat

Shahryar Khan

November 17, 2001

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Bangladesh is fighting to avoid an innings defeat as they were all out for 251 in their first innings and forced to bat again. To avoid the follow on the hosts needed 343 runs, but a horrendous come-and-go of the local batsmen led the squad to end up with 92 runs short of their target. The only consolation was the swashbuckling hundred that came from Habibul Bashar's bat, who batted exceptionally well all through and arranged his innings with 15 sparkling boundaries.

With the overnight 57 for 1, Bangladesh lost Al-Sahariar in the first hour today, when the opener failed to fend off an Olonga delivery that trapped him lbw. He got three lucky survive throughout his 29.

The next partnership was looking auspicious as Aminul Islam was batting sensibly, though Bashar was scoring most of the runs. Aminul gave a return catch to Marillier at 21 and the leggie took it comfortably. The people of Chittagong were much disappointed to see their local hero Akram Khan back soon after Aminul's exit. Again it was Marillier to remove him for a scanty 6 besides his name.

Bashar was retaining the strike as much as possible and batted fearlessly. He deserved a century long before, at least in one of the five half centuries he made; but fate remained stern on him on every occasion. This ground was the opportunity to score big runs and he knew it.

He hit four boundaries after he reached eighty and reached his hundred (108) by flicking Olonga to third man. Bashar lost his concentration a bit and Grant Flower took this advantage to beat him lastly by a delivery that turned sharply, slopped through his bat and clipped his bails off.

After Bashar, Mohammed Ashraful put some resistance to score a patient 33. The kid overcame the initial nervousness and batted prudently. He played 140 balls while his teammates were dropping quickly. Skipper Naimur Rahman could not take control of his run drought once again scoring 5 runs only.

Bangladesh were packed up for 251 with more than two days ahead. Left arm off spinner Grant Flower bagged four wickets.

The remaining session allowed 10 overs of play and the hosts were 15 for no loss at the close of the day.

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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