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.