Abid, Shafique fifties help Pakistan seal comprehensive win
Pakistan sealed a convincing eight-wicket win over Bangladesh, gaining crucial ICC World Test Championship points.
Bangladesh claimed two big wickets but it was a mountainous task for them to deny Pakistan a deserving victory. Babar Azam and Azhar Ali made sure there were not any more hiccups after their openers laid a solid foundation, chasing down the remaining runs in the morning session of day five.
Earlier, Pakistan resumed the day on 109/0, with only 93 runs needed and 10 wickets in hand, on the final day. Their openers, Abid and Shafique looked determined to take their side across the line in the morning session itself.
After scoring just one run in the first three overs, Abid struck one boundary off Taijul Islam. In the spinner’s next over, the Pakistan opener smashed him for three fours in a row with victory in clear sight.
In the 10th over of the day, the introduction on Mehidy Hasan did the trick for Bangladesh. He snared the wicket of Shafique, trapping him in front for 73 and breaking the solid opening stand of 151.
But that wicket came too late for the hosts as Pakistan were just 51 runs away from a win with nine wickets still in hand.
Azhar Ali joined Abid at the crease, coming in at No.3. The latter squeezed in a couple of boundaries and moved to his nervous nineties but Taijul got the better off Abid’s nerves as he had him trapped lbw for 91.
However, the job was almost done by Pakistan. Skipper Azam(13*) and Azhar(24*) scored the remaining runs, helping their side seal victory and taking them 1-0 up in the series.
Abid was adjudged Player of the Match for his exceptional contribution with the bat – 133 and 91. His partner, Shafique, who made his Test debut in this match, had an unforgettable outing. He registered scores of 52 and 73.
With the ball, it was Pakistan’s pacers who made the difference. Hasan Ali claimed a five-wicket haul in the first innings while Shaheen Afridi starred in a similar fashion in the second innings.
The two teams will play the second Test in Dhaka, starting 4 December.