Monday, December 17, 2018
Updated: Thursday, September 04, 2003
Bangladesh on Top

Tehsin Ali
Magnificent performance from captain Khaled Mahmud Shujon and spinner Mohammad Rafique gave Bangladesh their best bowling display in test cricket as Pakistan was destroyed for 175 runs in the first innings. By the end of the day, the team reached 77 for 4 with the match hanging in balance.

In the morning, Bangladesh's fragile tail gave away quickly with Khaled Mashud Pilot getting out in the first ball of the day. Shujon and Rafique put on a quick 30 run partnership but the team lasted only 9.2 overs to reach 281 all out. Umar Gul was the highest wicket taker with 4 for 86. He was ably supported by Shabbir with 3 for 70.

Nothing prepared the Bangladeshi fans for what happened later. Although Pakistan lost 2 early wickets to go to lunch at 50 for 2, no one expected that the team will fold so quickly. Inzamam and co. lasted only 55 overs Yaseer Hamid top-scoring with 39. The unlikely hero for Bangladesh was captain Shujon and his 'slow' medium pace. Under fire for an abysmal test career so far, Shujon bowled 13 overs to remove four of the five the Pakistan top order bats giving away only 37 runs. Rafique was however busy sweeping up the tail to take his third career 5 wicket haul, his second in the series. Rafique's 17.4 overs read 36 for 5.

With a 106 run lead, Bangladesh was facing another second innings debacle but newcomer Rajin Saleh produced some lusty blows in the final overs while captain Khaled Mahmud Shujon kept his wicket intact as we took an overall lead of 183 runs with 6 wickets in hand. The match is still far from over for both sides but Bangladesh had the upper hand up until Shabbir Ahmed and Umar Gul dealt double blows to remove the better half of the visitors batting.

One expects Alok Kapali to come back, the middle order bat retired hurt after scoring 17 off 22 balls. Much relies on Rajin and a mature defense from the lower order bats as Bangladesh can surely post a total around 200 to really push the Pakistani batsmen. With three days to go, this match will definitely have a result and the BD batsmen need to bat on sensibly to ensure that prospect.