Pakistan v Bangladesh

Samiul Hasan

At Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan, August 29, 30, 31. Pakistan won by an innings and 264 runs. Pakistan 24 pts. Toss: Bangladesh. Test debuts: Shoaib Malik, Taufeeq Umar.

Bangladesh came to the Multan Cricket Stadium, Test cricket's 81st venue, hoping to avoid defeat for the first time in their fourth Test. But before lunch on the third day, they were reflecting on what was then the sixth-biggest thrashing in Test history. The scale of the defeat - they were skittled out twice in the equivalent of a day's play, while five of the six Pakistanis to bat hit hundreds - raised serious questions about the ICC's decision to grant them Test status.

A first-day crowd of around 10,000 gathered in hot sunshine to watch the return of Test cricket to Multan - which staged one Test against West Indies, at the Ibn-e-Qasim Bagh Stadium, in 1980-81 - and to cheer the local hero, Inzamam-ul-Haq. They had to wait for him when Naimur Rahman chose to bat on a wicket which started firm and was expected to turn. Bangladesh soon confirmed that they lacked the technique and patience to counter quality bowling of any variety: 40 minutes before tea, they were dismissed for 134, in just 41.1 overs. Coincidentally, their second innings also lasted 41.1 overs, although it produced 14 more runs. The visitors' batting was cavalier throughout, with the one notable exception of Habibul Bashar's disciplined 56 not out on the third morning.

Pakistan, by contrast, clobbered 82 boundaries and amassed 546 for three at an exhilarating 4.75 runs an over before the inevitable declaration. The bowlers were clueless as Saeed Anwar belted 101 from 104 balls, passing 4,000 Test runs on the way. Taufeeq Umar helped him rattle up an opening stand of 168 in 33 overs, then became the eighth Pakistani to score a century on debut, and the fifth since 1996. Inzamam realised a childhood dream by hitting a hundred on his home ground and celebrated with a four next ball, before promptly tucking his bat under his arm and retiring hurt. Apparently dehydrated, he took no further part in the match. Yousuf Youhana and Abdul Razzaq continued the fusillade with unbeaten centuries, adding 165 in two hours as Razzaq hammered 110 in 100 balls.

Pakistan's bowlers enjoyed themselves too: Danish Kaneria, the wrist-spinner whose two previous Tests, against England in 2000-01, had brought four wickets at 54 apiece, scooped six in each innings at a total cost of just 94 runs. Tall enough to extract bounce as well as turn, he mesmerised the batsmen. Ten were caught close to the bat, four of them by Younis Khan, who set an innings record for a substitute. Waqar Younis claimed six wickets, though Wasim Akram, who had taken only seven in his previous four Tests, could add no more. Even Shoaib Malik, given just six overs on his debut, found time to remove two Bangladeshis with his off-breaks. The victory margin was then Pakistan's biggest in Tests, but the celebrations were overshadowed when a tearful Saeed Anwar announced that his three-year-old daughter, Bismah, who had been seriously ill, had died that afternoon.

Man of the Match: Danish Kaneria.
Close of play: First day, Pakistan 219-2 (Taufeeq Umar 77, Inzamam-ul-Haq 25); Second day, Bangladesh 55-3 (Habibul Bashar 19, Akram Khan 1).

© John Wisden & Co