Pakistan takes firm grip of opening test

Saturday, 10 December 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Unbeaten half-centuries from Mohammad Hafeez and Taufiq Umar put Pakistan in a commanding position after they had dismissed Bangladesh for 135 on the first day of the first test on Friday.

The Pakistan openers were largely untroubled, in stark contrast to the hosts who produced another tame batting display as Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman each grabbed three wickets.

Pakistan reached 132-0 in reply with Hafeez on 74 and Umar 53 not out.

Bangladesh were shot out on the stroke of tea with Rehman claiming the final wicket of Nasir Hossain for 41.

The 20-year-old Nasir had provided brief resistance before he fell a run short of his career best in only his third test.

Just two other Bangladesh batsman reached double figures, opener Nazimuddin making 31 and Mahmudullah 18.

A frustrating day for the hosts was compounded when Shahadat Hossain dropped a simple catch at mid-on off Shakib Al Hasan, which allowed Umar to complete his half-century.

Pakistan began their first Test series in Bangladesh for almost a decade in Chittagong, determined to extend their 100 per cent winning record against the hosts.

The tourists have already asserted their supremacy over Bangladesh by making a 3-0 clean sweep of the One-Day International (ODI) series. Pakistan played their lone Test series in Bangladesh in January 2002,which they won 2-0.

The tourists were not seriously tested in the ODIs after putting in impressive performances with both bat and ball. But Younus Khan said that he expected a tough fight from Bangladesh in the Tests.

“When we play Tests, we expect a Test-level competition,” he said. “They struggled in the ODIs but Test cricket is a different ball game. If they stick to their goals, they will give us tough competition. It will not be easy for us since Bangladesh are playing in home conditions.”

Bangladesh strengthened their batting by including former captain and middle-order batsman Mohammad Ashraful in the 15-man squad.