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Wisden Cricinfo staff
August 28, 2003
Javed Omar: a maiden Test century
A devastating spell of fast bowling by Shoaib Akhtar brought Pakistan back into the game on the second day of the second Test, at Peshawar. Shoaib's returns of 6 for 49 - which included a five-over spell where he took 5 for 9 - was largely instrumental in restricting Bangladesh to 361 in their first innings, despite a gritty 119 by Javed Omar. By close of play, Pakistan had progressed to 134 for 2.
Shoaib's inspirational spell came early in the afternoon session, after Omar and Mohammad Ashraful (77) had negotiated the first two hours of play with scarcely a worry. Undettered by the hot mid-day sun or the placid pitch, Shoaib ripped apart Bangladesh's line-up with a scorching burst of inswinging yorkers and short deliveries - all bowled at a furious pace.
Omar had fought on to his first century, becoming only the fourth Bangladesh batsman to reach that landmark in Tests, but he had no answer to a full-length delivery which swung in late and crashed into middle-and-leg stumps, ending a 130-run third-wicket stand with Mohammad Ashraful (310 for 3).
Ashraful, who had stroked his way to a fluent 77, was Shoaib's next victim, attempting an injudicious pull to a short ball which was wide outside off stump. The top edge presented Rashid Latif with a simple catch (315 for 5). Three balls later, Khaled Mashud shouldered arms to an inswinging delivery which was spearing in towards middle stump and was trapped plumb in front.
Shoaib wasn't done, though. Next over, he had two more scalps to celebrate: Alok Kapali inside-edged to Latif, while Mohammad Rafique was cleaned up by another speedy yorker (320 for 8). Danish Kaneria chipped in with a fortuitous wicket, when Rajin Saleh (3) was adjudged to have nicked a catch to Latif, and Bangladesh had lost six wickets for 10 runs.
Khaled Mahmud led a rearguard fightback, adding 41 for the last two wickets, but Shoaib returned to finish off Bangladesh's innings when Mahmud hoicked a short ball straight to Shabbir Ahmed at fine leg. Pakistan, who had toiled 121 overs to pick up the first two wickets, needed only 16 more to grab the remaining eight. The action proved too much for umpire Russel Tiffin too, who was forced off the field with stomach cramps. Asad Rauf, the third umpire, rushed out to do the on-field duties.
Pakistan's batsmen then continued the good work, with Taufeeq Umar stroking an elegant half-century. He was helped in large measure by Bangladesh's feeble bowling attack - apart from Mashrafe Mortaza and Mohammad Rafique, none of the bowlers looked the part.
Alamgir Kabir, included in the team at the expense of Tapash Baisya, was the worst of the lot. In the only other Test match he played - against Sri Lanka in 2002 - he went for 82 in 15 overs as Sri Lanka amassed a record 509 runs in a single day. He was equally abysmal here, serving up generous helpings of half-volleys at little more than medium pace. Umar took a special liking for him, creaming four fours in one over.
Pakistan did lose two wickets, but both were the result of shoddy batting: Mohammad Hafeez (21) nicked a wide ball off Mahmud, giving him his third Test wicket, while Yasir Hameed, the hero of the first Test, played across the line and was bowled by Rafique for 23 (84 for 2). Inzamam-ul-Haq and Taufeeq ensured that Pakistan ended the day no more than two down.
Dav Whatmore would have hoped for more, but it was still a reasonable day's work for Bangladesh. They registered their second-highest total in Tests, and batted through an entire session without losing a wicket for only the second time ever - the first was in the afternoon session on the first day. This afternoon, though, Shoaib Akhtar stepped it up a gear, and Bangladesh had no response.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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