Sunday, December 09, 2018
Updated: Friday, August 29, 2003
Bangladesh fumble after first innings lead

Tehsin Ali
Bangladesh batsmen failed to capitalize on the teams first ever innings lead in a test match and squandered away a good chance to take the match away from Pakistan. After a hat-trick from part-timer Alok Kapali and a five wicket haul from Mohammad Rafique, the visitors found themselves sitting on a lead of 66 runs. Excitement or inexperience (not in matches, but in such situation) saw them tumbling HARD as Shoaib Akhter continued his good pace.

Credit goes to Pakistani bowlers in holding down the Bangladesh batsmen. Shoaib's six wickets saw Bangladesh crushing from 302 for 2 to 361 all out the day before and yesterday, with a 66 run lead, Bangladesh lost four top order bats in reaching 43 runs. First innings centurian Javed Omar Belim was caught behind for a first ball duck off Shoaib's first over. This wasn't a good match for Hannan as he followed his first innings 6 (off 16 balls) with a 7 (off 16 balls) as the visitors managed 20 for 2.

Habibul Bashar Sumon was well on his way to another "fifty" but once again, he had to follow his partner to the stands. Sumon (28 off 32) was lbw by Umar Gul (first ball of the over), giving Pakistan two valuable wickets off consecutive balls after Ashraful (7 off 24) aired a catch to Taufeeq Umar off Kaneria (in the last ball of the previous over).

The teams fortune lies with youngsters Rajin Saleh and Alok Kapali when play resumes on the fourth day. Bangladesh does not have much resistance after these two. The team will look to Khaled Mashud Pilot and the lower order to chip in with some runs.

Pakistan will be bowling with renewed vigor and the Bangladeshi tail will have to wiggle long enough to post at least a 200 for the second innings to have any chance of creating pressure on the Pakistani batsmen.

Undoubtedly, the day belonged to the Bangladeshi spinners. Kapali bowled the first hatrick for a Bangladeshi in test cricket when we mopped the Pakistan tail insuring a lead for the minnows. Kapali bowled only 17 balls to finish with an outstanding figure of 3 for 3. Shabbir Ahmed was Kapali's first victim when he was caught by Mashrafee for 8. His other victims weren't as lucky as they (Danish Kaneria & Umar Gul) both went lbw for first ball ducks.

Before Kapali's heroics, Mohammad Rafique (45-13-118-5) had removed the Pakistan top order, accounting for Taufeeq Umar, Yasir Hameed, Inzamam ul Haque, Rashid Latif and an injured Shoaib Malik. This was Rafique's second 5 wicket haul in a test and took his all-time collection to 19 wickets.

Skipper Khaled Mahmud Shujon doubled his career wicket again. He took two for 42 of 21 overs (RR 2.00) to take his career wicket haul to 4. This was definitely a welcome relief for the fans (and Shujon) who have wondered about the justification of Shujon's place in the team. He has the chance to double up (4 wicket haul) again when Pakistan comes back for the second innings. But before that, one hopes that Shujon will add a few more runs to his team score.

Pacer Mashrafee Murtaza Masri and Alamgir Kabir went wicketless. Masri had some effect on the Pakistani bats (18-6-48-0) but Kabir's second coming (13-3-61-0) was only slightly better then his debut performance (15-1-82-0) against Sri Lanka last year. Look like it's going to be Tapash Baishya (or Manjurul Islam Manju) for the third test after all.