CHATTOGRAM, Bangladesh (AP) — Opener Abid Ali missed out on back-to-back centuries by nine runs but Pakistan comfortably chased down a 202-run target to beat Bangladesh by eight wickets on Tuesday in the first cricket test.
Abid and Abdullah Shafique put on a 151-run partnership for the first wicket, their second consecutive 100-plus stand in the match to give Pakistan’s chase a powerful start. Abid, who hit 133 in the first innings, struck 12 boundaries and scored 91 off 148 deliveries in the second innings.
“I'm really pleased with the way Abdullah Shafique built his innings and Abid Ali was outstanding, scoring tough runs to pull the team out from difficult position,” Pakistan captain Babar Azam said, also crediting his bowlers for turning the match after his team conceded a first-innings lead. “The way Bangladesh played in the first innings was really good but Shaheen (Afridi) and Hasan (Ali) were outstanding.
"That’s the beauty of test cricket that it allows you to make a comeback. We didn’t have much time to prepare for the test but we gave our best.”
Resuming Day 5 at 109 without loss, and just 93 runs away from the victory, Pakistan’s openers appeared to be in full control until offspinner Mehidy Hasan struck.
Shafique followed his first-innings half-century to reach 73 before Mehidy (1-59) trapped him lbw.
Seven overs later, left-arm spinner Taijul Islam (1-89) had Abid out lbw, baffling him with a sharp turn to make Pakistan 171-2.
Azhar Ali then combined with Azam to complete the inevitable, hitting consecutive boundaries off Mehidy to finish off the game. Azhar was unbeaten on 24 and Azam was not out on 13.
Liton Das’ maiden test century helped Bangladesh post 330 in its first innings, then Taijul Islam claimed 7-116 to bowl out Pakistan for 286 — giving the hosts a 44-run first innings lead.
Paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi was instrumental in Pakistan’s rally, returning figures of 5-32 to wrap up Bangladesh’s second innings for 157.
“The key difference was the performance of the top order of the both teams in this test,” Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque said. “We were four down for 40-odd runs in both innings when their openers have two 100-plus partnerships.
"Mushfiqur (Rahim), Liton (Das) stepped up, Taijul got seven wickets but as a team we couldn’t play well.”
The second test starts Saturday in Dhaka.
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