First Test

Pakistan v Bangladesh

At Dhaka, January 9, 10, 11. Pakistan won by an innings and 178 runs. Toss: Pakistan. Test debut: Fahim Muntasir.

From the first ball to the last, bowled 25 minutes after tea on the third afternoon, Pakistan were firmly in control. The postponement of New Zealand's visit after the terrorist attacks of September 11 had meant a four-month break from Test cricket, but Pakistan looked refreshed rather than rusty. They picked up where they had left off, with an emphatic three-day win over Bangladesh. Then, as now, Abdul Razzaq hit a rasping hundred and Danish Kaneria brought the Bangladeshi batsmen to their knees with his intelligent leg-spin.

Even so, there had been some optimism in the home camp on the first day, while Habibul Bashar, playing a gutsy innings in the face of quality bowling, and Aminul Islam were guiding Bangladesh to 140 for three. They had put on 63 before Kaneria removed Aminul. Then came the deluge. Waqar Younis sliced through the card to take the last six wickets for seven runs in 29 balls, the first time he had claimed five in an innings for almost four years. The only other batsman to shine was Mohammad Ashraful, in a confident 27. Like many of his colleagues, though, he played too much in the one-day style, when graft was the order of the day.

Pakistan's new, left-handed opening pair, Taufeeq Umar and Shadab Kabir, raced to 100 in the 23rd over. Yousuf Youhana chipped in with a classy 72, but, at 221 for five just after lunch on the second day, there was a chance Bangladesh could steal back into the match. Instead, Razzaq and Rashid Latif shared a partnership of 175, and batted them out of the game. A huge cheer greeted the arrival of Inzamam-ul-Haq, coming in at No. 8 because of a heavy cold. Something of a hero in Bangladesh, he nevertheless hammered the final nail into their coffin with an elegant and powerful forty. Waqar declared at the fall of Inzamam's wicket rather than ask Wasim Akram, who had limped off after straining a hamstring in the fifth over of the match, to bat.

Needing a daunting 330 simply to avoid an innings defeat, Bangladesh enjoyed another encouraging start. The arrival of Kaneria, who bowled continuously from the sixth over, brought it to an abrupt end. He completely mesmerised the batsmen and finished with a Test-best seven for 77; in two matches against Bangladesh, he had taken 21 wickets at 9.85. Fahim Muntasir, on debut, was alone in passing 22, and hit Kaneria over long-on for six, but his spirited swing of the bat ultimately counted for little.

Man of the Match: Abdul Razzq

© John Wisden & Co