Bangladesh dismissed for 233 against Pakistan in 1st test

RIZWAN ALI
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Pakistan Bangladesh Cricket

Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, center, celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Bangladesh batsman Saif Hassan during the first day of their 1st test cricket match at Rawalpindi cricket stadium in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (AP) — Bangladesh's batsmen struggled against Pakistan's fast bowlers despite Mohammad Mithun’s half-century as the visitors were bowled out for 233 in the first test on Friday.

Mithun, playing in only his eighth test match, frustrated Pakistan with a gritty 63 off 140 balls with seven fours and a six before getting caught behind for 63. Abu Jayed was run out without scoring just before stumps were drawn for the day as Shaheen Afridi missed a deserving five-wicket haul.

“It was unlucky (that the last man got run out) but it’s always a team game, you have to play your role and I played my role very well," Afridi said. “It’s always your wish to improve upon your best bowling but beauty of test cricket is that you don’t break records every day."

Afridi (4-53) and Mohmmad Abbas (2-19), who bowled disciplined for 17 overs, had snared five wickets between them as Bangladesh slipped to 161-6 by tea. But Mithun got lives on either side of the last session and added 53 runs for the seventh-wicket stand with Taijul Islam (24).

Taijul finally holed out to give part-time spinner Haris Sohail (2-11) his second wicket after Pakistan legspinner Yasir Shah struggled to finish with wicketless figures of 0-83.

Mithun, dropped on 22 and 46, reached his half century in three hours with a pulled boundary off Yasir and then hoisted the legspinner over mid off for a six.

But young fast bowler Naseem Shah ended Mithun’s defiance with the second new ball when he gloved a short ball to wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan.

Afridi and Abbas had earlier provided Pakistan a perfect start after captain Azhar Ali won the toss and elected to field on a wicket which had tinge of grass.

Afridi had 21-year-old Saif Hassan caught in the slips for no score off his third ball as Bangladesh's top order struggled.

Abbas was rewarded with two wickets for bowling to a steady line and length. Abbas got Tamim Iqbal (3) in his first over to leave Bangladesh 4-2 and then got the faint edge of Najmul Hossain Shanto’s (44) bat in the first over after lunch.

Afridi then had Bangladesh reeling at 107-5 when Asad Shafiq grabbed his second catch in the slips cordon to dismiss Mahmudullah (25) as Bangladesh's middle order batsmen couldn’t capitalize after getting good starts.

Haris provided Pakistan further success just before the second session ended when he had Liton Das (33) leg before wicket through television referral after umpire Nigel Llong twice erred in two sessions.

Earlier, Afridi claimed two wickets in an extended 2 1/2-hour opening session because of Friday prayers as Bangladesh reached 95-3 at lunch.

After removing Saif early, the leftarm fast bowler switched ends and broke a half-century stand and had Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque (30) caught behind.

Najmul, playing his first test since November 2018, looked comfortable against both the pace and legspin of Yasir before Abbas struck immediately after lunch.

Abbas earlier went successfully for leg before wicket referral against Tamim in the second over when Llong overturned a confident appeal.

Tamim, who scored a triple century in a domestic first-class game last week, scored only three in his comeback test match after the left-hander missed Bangladesh’s last test series against India.

Mominul and Najmul played resolutely after two early setbacks and just when they looked to carry Bangladesh’s fightback, Afridi broke the 59-run third-wicket partnership.

Pakistan retained the same playing XI which won by 263 runs against Sri Lanka in Karachi last December, which meant no place for allrounders Bilal Asif and Faheem Ashraf.

Bangladesh also went with three fast bowlers: Rubel Hossian, Abu Jayed and Ebadot Hossain.

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