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Top-order collapse eclipses Taijul heroics on day three

Staff Correspondent
29 Nov 2021 00:00:00 | Update: 30 Nov 2021 03:02:54
Top-order collapse eclipses Taijul heroics on day three
Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi (2L) celebrates with teammates after dismissing Bangladesh batsman Najmul Hossain Shanto during the third day of the first Test between Bangladesh and Pakistan at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram on Sunday – AFP Photo

Once again, the top-order of Bangladesh fell like a house of cards, eliminating a golden opportunity to enhance the lead against Pakistan, which could have placed Bangladesh on the driving seat of the Chattogram Test after the end of day three on Sunday.

Bangladesh ended day three on 39-4, leading by 83 runs.

Pakistan started day three with an overnight score of 145-0, with Abid Ali sensing his fourth Test century and debutant Abdullah Shafique determined to convert his fifty into a hundred.

But Taijul Islam had something different under his sleeve.

The first two days of Chattogram saw pacers dominating the first hour of the play, but Taijul busted that myth with his double-strike in the very first over of day three at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on Sunday morning.

Shafique was his first victim, and in the next ball, he removed Azhar Ali for a duck which changed the complexion of the game.

Mahidy Hasan Miraz bowled Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam, Ebadot also joined the party by taking the wickets of Mohammad Rizwan and Sajid Khan. But it was Taijul who punched through Pakistan’s batting lineup leading to them being bowled out for 286 runs.

Pakistan managed to add 141 runs losing 10 wickets on day three after the 146 runs partnership between the two openers. Their second-highest partnership was between their last two batsmen, Faheem Ashraf and Shaheen Shah Afridi, who added 29 runs.

Taijul started the day by dismissing Abdullah Shafique and ended Pakistan’s innings when Faheem Ashraf edged one of his deliveries which Liton caught between his thighs.

The left-arm spinner ended with a bowling figure of 44.4-9-116-7, his second-best in Tests, after taking eight wickets for 39 against ZImbawe in 2014.

Pakistan cricketers are renowned for their ability to handle spin bowling but Taijul outclassed them with his display of determination, patience, and hard work, which rewarded him with the best bowling figures for any Bangladesh bowler against them.

Pakistan folded for 286 runs in their first innings, giving Bangladesh a lead by 44 runs which could be very handy on this surface where spinners are finally getting some assistance.

But once again, the top-order batsman from Bangladesh failed to provide a good start, and by the end of day three, Taijul found his performance eclipsed by their failure as the Tigers lost four wickets for 39 runs in the remaining 19 overs.

On this same venue, against West Indies earlier this year, Bangladesh lost four wickets for 73 runs in the second innings. In the following innings at Dhaka, the early collapse saw Bangladesh at 71-4, and even in the first innings of this match, Bangladesh lost their top four batsmen for only 49 runs.

If the top order of Bangladesh could survive the furies for Hasan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi in the dying daylight, it could put them in a commanding position when day four unfolds.

Bangladesh finished the day with Mushfiqur Rahim unbeaten on 12, and Yasir Ali unbeaten on eight runs and the best in Test and the newest in Test for Bangladesh have to shoulder the responsibilities to carry forward the team towards a healthy second innings total.

Chattogram had been a lucky venue for Mominul Haque, where he scored his maiden Test hundred and six more out of his 11 Tons, but this time ZACS is offering him a cold shoulder.

He scored six in the first innings and went for a duck in the second, and Najmul Hasan Shanto also failed to score in his second innings after scoring 14 in the first.

Openers Saif Hasan (18) and Shadman Islam (18), both continued on their poor showing and after a brilliant comeback initiated by Taijul, Bangladesh is still far away from the winning post.