Tour review

Pakistan in Bangladesh, 2011-12

Utpal Shuvro

Test matches (2): Bangladesh 0, Pakistan 2
One-day internationals (3): Bangladesh 0, Pakistan 3
Twenty20 internationals (1): Bangladesh 0, Pakistan 1

Pakistan arrived for their first full tour of Bangladesh since late 2003 and returned home happy, after winning all six matches. The only serious resistance came in the last of the 50-over games and in the Second Test. The trip capped a memorable year for Pakistan: after the sordid English summer of 2010, they avoided controversy off the field, and on it played with a rare sense of discipline. Misbah-ul-Haq, the captain, seemed to have a calming influence on the often volatile Pakistan dressing-room and, although the team included a few former skippers (as ever), the players looked united.

Pakistan came direct from the UAE, where they had humbled Sri Lanka in all three formats. And they were clearly superior here too, especially as their varied and experienced spin attack trumped Bangladesh's own phalanx of slow bowlers, usually their strongest suit.

This was no great surprise: since beating them at the 1999 World Cup, Bangladesh had always found Pakistan a difficult proposition, and they remained the only team they had failed to defeat in any format since acquiring Test status in 2000. At the end of this trip, Pakistan's winning streak in one- day internationals against Bangladesh stretched to 22, equalling Australia's record sequence against Zimbabwe.

In the Tests, the main difference was in the batting. Pakistan progressed patiently, waiting for the loose ball, which prompted Bangladesh's left-arm spinner Elias Sunny to observe that "Pakistan is playing safe cricket". That summed up the different mentality of the two sides: Pakistan were often in dominant positions, so it was Bangladesh who should have been playing "safe cricket". Instead, their batsmen went for too many shots, as if to underline - yet again - their unsuitability for the five-day format. Horrible catching compounded Bangladesh's woes: they dropped 13 chances overall, 11 of them in the Tests.

Younis Khan headed the batting averages with an astronomical 265, mainly thanks to an unbeaten double-century in the First Test. Slow left-armer Abdur Rehman claimed 11 wickets at 19, but paceman Aizaz Cheema and off-spinner Saeed Ajmal were not far behind, with nine wickets each. Ajmal finished the year with 50 wickets in Tests, the only man to reach the landmark.

For Bangladesh, Shakib Al Hasan yet again carried both the batting and bowling. He had a disappointing time in the one-dayers, but bounced back strongly in the Tests. At Mirpur he became the first Bangladeshi to score a century and take a five-for in the same match, which helped propel him to top spot in the ICC rankings for Test all-rounders, replacing Jacques Kallis.

Match reports for

Only T20I: Bangladesh v Pakistan at Dhaka, Nov 29, 2011
Report | Scorecard

1st ODI: Bangladesh v Pakistan at Dhaka, Dec 1, 2011
Report | Scorecard

2nd ODI: Bangladesh v Pakistan at Dhaka, Dec 3, 2011
Report | Scorecard

3rd ODI: Bangladesh v Pakistan at Chittagong, Dec 6, 2011
Report | Scorecard

1st Test: Bangladesh v Pakistan at Chittagong, Dec 9-12, 2011
Report | Scorecard

2nd Test: Bangladesh v Pakistan at Dhaka, Dec 17-21, 2011
Report | Scorecard

© John Wisden & Co.