Pakistan team outdo Tigers’ individuals
Despite Bangladesh's 44-run lead at the end of the first innings, what made the difference for Pakistan in their comfortable eight-wicket victory? The Tigers may have taken positives from individual performances from the likes of Liton Das and Taijul Islam that swung the momentum at some stages, but it was Pakistan's collective approach in every aspect that helped them bounce back and clinch an easy victory on the final day of the first Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram yesterday.
Pakistan's Hasan Ali was lethal with the ball in the first innings with a five-wicket-haul that deterred the Tigers from posting a bigger total. However, his pace-bowling partner Shaheen Shah Afridi also kept the pressure on the batters, plucking a couple of wickets.
Their combined attack remained venomous in the second innings, only this time Afridi bagged a fifer while Hasan grabbed two wickets to set up an easy chase and Pakistan skipper Babar Azam singled them out for praise during the post-match presentation ceremony.
"The way Bangladesh played in the first innings was really good but Shaheen and Hasan were outstanding. That's the beauty of Test cricket; it allows you to stage a comeback," Babar said.
After enduring a strenuous second day that saw him fail to scalp a single wicket, Taijul's seven-wicket-haul in the first session of the third day enabled Bangladesh to get a first-innings lead. But that appeared a lucky break as the hosts were unable to display consistency with the ball in the second innings.
Pakistan's batters also ensured that they would measure up their bowlers' performance. Openers Abid Ali and Abdullah Shafique stitched together partnerships of over a hundred in both innings while half-centuries from debutant Shafique in both innings and Abid's magnificent knocks of 133 and 91 demonstrated their collective approach come through when Babar struggled with the bat.
Player-of-the-match Abid Ali did not forget to credit his batting partner's performance either.
"Abdullah Shafique was making his debut, so we tried to stay at the crease, wait for bad balls and we succeeded in putting them away. He was outstanding. My best wishes are with him," the right-hander said.
Although, Liton's maiden Test century in the first innings and a half-century in the second also gave the Tigers glimpses of hope, it cannot be denied that it was Pakistan's teamwork that undid Bangladesh in the first Test.