Pakistan in control as Bangladesh lose way
Mirpur, May 7 (IANS) The Pakistan cricket team finished the third day of the second and final Test in the driver's seat after amassing a big total and taking out half of Bangladesh's batting order in the last session here on Thursday.
After the tourists declared at 557/8 with a splendid maiden double century from Azhar Ali (226), their bowlers reduced Bangladesh to 107/5 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. Bangladesh are trailing Pakistan by 450 runs and need 251 more to avoid a follow-on.
Trailing Pakistan's huge total, Bangladesh lost their double centurion from the previous match in the first over when Tamim Iqbal (4) was trapped leg-before by Junaid Khan.
Imrul Kayes' confidence showed as he cracked four boundaries off Junaid with some spectacular drives on the off-side. Kayes was looking good playing crisp drives on the front foot until he played one shot too many.
After Mominul Haque (13) was caught behind, finding a bottom-edge off Junaid, Yasir Shah sneaked past the gates of Kayes (32) as Bangladesh slumped to 69/3.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq tested the Bangladesh batsmen bringing timely changes to his bowling attack. When he handed the ball to Wahab Riaz, he repeatedly pulled his length short, much to Mahmudullah's discomfort. Riaz was rewarded when one of his bouncers caught Mahmudullah (28) by surprise as he gloved it to short leg.
Shakib Al Hasan (14 not out) and Mushfiqur Rahim (12) tried to soak up the pressure. The latter survived a leg-before decision off Shah after reviewing it. Replays showed the ball had taken an inside edge on to his pad.
But in the penultimate ball of the day, Shah deceived Mushfiqur with a googly and had him castled to leave the hosts in tatters.
Earlier, Azhar Ali (226) hit his maiden double century and Asad Shafiq (107) scored a century to help the tourists to the huge total. Pakistan started on their overnight score of 323/3 and added 105 runs in the first session.
Bangladesh started promisingly when they sent back Misbah (9) early when a Shakib delivery castled his leg stump.
Despite picking up Misbah's wicket, Shakib was off colour as Azhar cracked four boundaries off him in two consecutive overs, the last one bringing up his 150.
The two pressed on and propelled the tourists beyond 400 as Shafiq scored his fifty before lunch.
With the runs flowing after the break, Azhar edged closer to his maiden double century. He spent a few nervous moments on 199 but danced down the track to lift Shakib for a huge six to bring up the double century.
Shafiq soon reached his sixth Test hundred at the other end as Pakistan crossed the 500-run mark.
Pakistan then shifted gears and looked for big shots, but Shuvagata Hom Chowdhury sent both Azhar and Shafiq back after the two notched a fifth-wicket stand of 207.
Azhar again charged down the track and skied it for a comfortable catch at long-off. His innings was laced with 20 boundaries and two sixes.
Sarfraz Ahmed (21) made his intentions clear, smashing two boundaries just as he arrived at the crease, but Shafiq was taken out as the batsman looked to hit big.
In the over before tea, Taijul Islam (3/179) struck twice. He sent Wahab Riaz (4) and Yasir Shah (0) packing as Pakistan declared on 557/8.