Multan's hot weather festival for the Asian Test Championship match with Bangladesh ended with Pakistan's fabulous victory by an innings and 264 runs. As forecast by the majority of cricket observers, the one-sided contest finished in less than two and a half days.
The feature of the last morning's play was a magical spell of bowling by young leg spinner Danish Kaneria who claimed 6 wickets for 52 and a short but spirited spell of fast bowling by skipper Waqar Younis who claimed 4 for 19. Pakistan would have won the contest anyway but the combination of pace and spin made the job easy.
Bangladesh batting proved too fragile. Except for some bold resistance offered by Habibul Bashar who remained unbeaten with a valiant 56 and a defiant innings of 31 by Hasibul Hossain, the remaining batsmen came and returned to the pavilion without making a tangible contribution. This made them crumble for 148 runs.
Earlier Bangladesh resumed the 2nd innings at the overnight score of 55 for 3 facing a big 1st innings deficit. Playing the sheet anchor role, Habibul Bashar kept one end intact while wickets continued to fall from the other.
Danish Kaneria mesmerised the batsmen with his guile dominating the whole show. With the spin that he generated from a flat pitch, he proved too good for the young and upcoming Bangladesh batsmen and augurs well for Pakistan in future.
Kaneria was deservedly chosen `Man of the Match'. Another notable feature of the day was 4 excellent catches held by Younis Khan, who substituted for Inzamam-ul-Haq in the field.
The match was very one sided and indicates that Bangladesh needs to put in a big effort to raise the standards of cricket in the country if they desire to achieve a respectable position in the mainstream of test cricket.
As for organising the match, Multan's cricket association as well as the civil administration deserve bouquets for putting up a grand show. The cricket fans also deserve a pat for coming out to witness the match in such scorching heat.