Impact of genuine fast bowling showcased again
Irrespective of pitch and conditions, the possession of potent attacking fast bowlers keeps a team invariably in the hunt and the Pakistani frontline pacers proved that yet again by utilising the new ball perfectly to dismantle the Bangladesh batting line-up.
Despite managing to stage a dramatic comeback, courtesy of a magnificent 206 run fifth-wicket stand between Liton Das and Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh went on to add no more than 77 runs to their overnight score of 253 and lost six wickets to be eventually bundled out for 330 in the first innings at the stroke of lunch on Day 2 at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram yesterday.
The performance of the Bangladeshi seamers was in stark contrast to their Pakistani counterparts, who made the ball talk and wreaked havoc in the early morning of the first two days. Since then, the likes of Abu Jayed and Ebadot Hossain posed no real threat as their lack of pace or swing made the visitors' openers Abid Ali and Abdullah Shafique negotiate the attack comfortably as Pakistan ended up on 145 without loss at day's end, trailing by 185 runs. Bangladesh are certainly missing some fire power from the likes of Taskin Ahmed.
Much like the first session of the opening day, where the likes of Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf rattled through the Bangladesh top-order to reduce the hosts to 49 for 4, the seamers repeated the trick for the visitors again once they had the second new ball in hand yesterday morning. The fact that the three Pakistani pacers ended up bagging nine wickets among themselves, clearly reflects their domination against Bangladesh batters.
Pakistani fast bowlers displayed outstanding skills with the new ball, especially Ali who managed to swing the new ball both ways and ended up bagging his sixth five-wicket haul in the longest format.
It was a classic fast bowlers' trap set by Ali to dismiss Liton, batting on 114, where he started off by bowling a few deliveries moving away from the right-hander from a good length before surprising the centurion with an in-swinging delivery on the length that came in sharply. The right-hander was undone playing for the outward movement but the ball went through his defence, leading to a leg-before dismissal.
Afridi had relentlessly hit the deck hard and pushed the batters on the back foot while Ashraf asked questions bowling at the stumps alongside Hasan who kept the batters guessing with his art of swing — the trio complemented each other and offered variety from both ends.
Mushfiqur at the other hand, remained overcautious since resuming the day on 82 and probably it was down to some brilliant bowling by the Pakistani pace front. Having managed to score only nine runs in 35 balls on the second day, Mushfiqur fell by edging to the wicket-keeper off Ashraf's delivery. It was Mushfiqur's fourth time in getting out on the nervous nineties in Tests and arguably he was intimidated by some fine demonstration of pace bowling from the Pakistanis with the shiny red cherry.