First Test

Pakistan in Bangladesh, 2011-12

Utpal Shuvro

At Chittagong, December 9-12, 2011. Pakistan won by an innings and 184 runs. Toss: Pakistan. Test debut: Nazimuddin.


Mohammad Hafeez and Taufeeq Umar opened the batting for the 11th consecutive Test, a Pakistan record, Bangladesh v Pakistan, 1st Test, Chittagong, 1st day, December 9, 2011
Stability? In Pakistan cricket? At the top of the order? Mohammad Hafeez and Taufeeq Umar open together for the 11th Test in succession, and put on 164. © AFP
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Pakistan's batsmen gave a masterclass in old-fashioned Test-match batting, which proved far too much for their hosts. Victory came midway through the fourth day, in the shape of Bangladesh's 35th innings reverse in 72 Tests, and their 62nd defeat in all (the 63rd would soon follow).

The die was cast when Bangladesh folded for 135 on the first day, after Misbah-ul-Haq had decided to bowl first in what seemed like perfect batting conditions. Mohammad Hafeez provided a rare instance of a spinner bowling the first over of a Test, but he sent down only three overs before the pacemen made the early breakthroughs. Then the frontline spinners took over. All the bowlers received generous assistance from Bangladesh's batsmen, who played too many shots and kept the slip cordon interested. Nazimuddin, the debutant Chittagong-born opener, was the only exception, grafting 132 minutes for 31 - but apart from that only Nasir Hossain, at No. 8, lasted longer than three- quarters of an hour.

The reply began with a slice of history, as Hafeez and Taufeeq Umar were opening together for the 11th Test running, a Pakistan record, beating ten by Ramiz Raja and Mudassar Nazar, and Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail. They were not parted until Bangladesh's puny total had been passed: Taufeeq, after putting his head down for 220 minutes, lost concentration immediately following a drinks break to end a stand of 164. Hafeez flowed on, batting for seven minutes short of six hours for 143, his fourth Test century, and departed only because umpire Doctrove failed to spot a thick inside edge before giving him out leg-before to Elias Sunny's arm-ball (the DRS was not used in this series for cost reasons).

But the agony was by no means over for Bangladesh: Younis Khan had settled in, and proved impossible to dislodge. He extended his 19th Test hundred into his third double, galloping through the 190s - where he had twice previously been dismissed - in the space of eight balls. In all, Younis faced 290 deliveries in 412 minutes, and hit 18 fours and three sixes - the pick of them a lofted straight-drive over the ropes off Shakib Al Hasan which took him past 6,000 Test runs. He put on 259 with Asad Shafiq, who reached a maiden Test century shortly before the declaration. Poor fielding didn't help the home side: Younis was dropped by Sunny at deep square leg when he had only 15, and later should have been run out (the ball went for four overthrows instead). Shafiq miscued a hook at 43, but Rubel Hossain made a mess of the catch at fine leg. He injured his shoulder in the process, and was unable to bat on the fourth day.

Bangladesh fared a little better in their second innings, but as they were trailing by 459 runs they already needed a near-miracle just to make Pakistan bat again. After they lost four wickets in the 39 overs remaining on the third day, it was only a matter of time on the fourth. Once again Nazimuddin led the way, but after reaching his half-century, off 148 balls, he also batted like a millionaire: dropped for the second time by Adnan Akmal, he quickly slapped two fours and two sixes before holing out to mid-off.

Mohammad Ashraful, controversially recalled for this match after missing the West Indies series, made one and nought - and was promptly dumped again.

Man of the Match: Younis Khan.

Close of play: First day, Pakistan 132-0 (Mohammad Hafeez 74, Taufeeq Umar 53); Second day, Pakistan 415-4 (Younis Khan 96, Asad Shafiq 40); Third day, Bangladesh 134-4 (Nazimuddin 41, Shakib Al Hasan 41).

© John Wisden & Co.