Bangladesh batsman Zunaed Siddiqui works the ball on the onside during his gritty knock of 68 not out on the fourth day of the first Test against England at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong yesterday.Photo: AFP
When England declared their innings with a mammoth lead and Bangladesh lost two quick wickets before lunch break, everybody was sensing the home side's defeat inside four days, but Zunaed Siddiqui and Mushfiqur Rahim staged a brilliant fight-back to take the first Test into the fifth day at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here yesterday.
The two batsmen made sure that the Tigers were not going down without fight. The resistance came from them after Bangladesh lost five wickets for 110 runs in reply to an improbable winning target of 513 and their sixth wicket stand was intact for 81 runs before stumps were drawn for the day.
Left-handed Zunaed was not out on 68 while his partner Mushfiqur remained unbeaten on 47 as Bangladesh finished the day on 191 for five, still 322 behind the target.
Bangladesh however were unfortunate in losing their fifth wicket as umpire Tony Hill raised the dreaded finger against skipper Shakib Al Hasan although TV replays showed that the batsman in fact got a full glove on the sweep shot, it was tangled near his pads, but the ball came straight off the gloves and was squeezed into the ground.
The poor decision brought wicketkeeper Mushfiqur, who during the process reached the 1,000 Test runs in his 20th match, to the crease and the little right-hander continued his good form after making 79 runs in the first innings.
The most encouraging part of the sixth-wicket partnership was that they remained undefeated throughout the last session which denied England's early finish of the match.
Zunaed was struggling initially against the short balls but he looked to get back his confidence once Mushfiqur joined him. The pair batted 142 minutes together to repair the early damage and it was Zunaed who stayed in the crease for long 199 minutes.
Spinner Graeme Swann gave the first breakthrough in Bangladesh's second innings by removing Tamim Iqbal, who was the top scorer in the first innings with 86 runs, and he also took the wicket of Shakib while pacer Tim Bresnan also captured two wickets to trigger the Bangladesh top-order collapse.
Earlier England played only 50 minutes before declaring their second innings for 209 for seven, resuming the day on 131 for five.
Shakib claimed four wickets for 62 runs.