Afridi, Openers Help Pakistan Close In On 1-0 Lead

Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Afridi, openers help Pakistan close in on 1-0 lead. Pakistan need 93 runs on the final day to win the Test.

Afridi, Openers Help Pakistan Close In On 1-0 LeadPakistan need 93 runs on the final day to win the Test.

Abid Ali and Abdullah Shafique registered fifties in an undefeated 109-run stand as Pakistan closed in on a 1-0 series lead against Bangladesh at the end of Day 4 in Chattogram on Monday (November 29). Both openers crossed fifty for the second time in the game as they put Pakistan in firm control in a chase of 202, following Shaheen Afridi's fourth five-wicket haul which bowled Bangladesh out for 157 in their second innings despite Liton Das's fighting half-century.

Abid and Shafique were off to a good start, with the former targeting Ebadot Hossain in particular. Ebadot was clocking in excess of 140 kph and troubled Abid, even forcing Bangladesh for a caught-behind review, which, however, was not successful. The bowler, though, wasn't always on the mark and Abid made his pay for the loose deliveries. Shafique was solid at the other end, rotating the strike well while he also did not allow the Bangladesh spinners to settle down, scoring boundaries off Taijul Islam and Mehidy Hasan, with the openers managing five fours between them in the 12 overs they batted before Tea.

Bangladesh's hopes of turning it around in the final session didn't materialise as Abid and Shafique continued scoring at a steady rate to put Pakistan in pole position. Abid mistimed a pull which fell short of the fielder while Shafique survived a Bangladesh review for lbw, which were the only moments that kept the hosts interested. The boundaries, meanwhile, continued to flow as Bangladesh's spinners weren't consistent enough with their lines despite some help from the pitch. The Pakistan openers capitalised on this as they scored at a healthy strike rate, with Abid crossing fifty first. The 100-run stand was the next milestone following which Shafique scored the first maximum of the innings to bring up his second successive fifty on Test debut. Bad light ended the day's play early with both openers remaining unbeaten.

Earlier, Mushfiqur Rahim was trapped in front by Hasan Ali in the first over of the day but Bangladesh managed to make good progress thanks to a good stand between Liton and Yasir. Despite Pakistan coming at the sixth wicket pair with all their might, Liton and Yasir batted with a lot of intent, scoring regular boundaries. Liton also received a reprieve when Mohammad Rizwan missed a stumping chance off Nauman Ali's bowling. But the partnership came to an abrupt halt when Yasir walked off the field after the 31st over. He was struck on the side of his helmet in the 30th over when he tried to duck under an Afridi delivery which did not bounce much. The physio came out and Yasir appeared fine after an onfield concussion test, and even batted for an over, before deciding to leave.

Unlike his 47-run association with Yasir which came in 69 deliveries, Liton's partnership with Mehidy, which lasted as many balls, yielded only 25 runs. Sajid Khan ended this cautious alliance when he trapped Mehidy leg-before for 11 off 44, and the batter also took a review with him. Nurul Hasan, who replaced Yasir as a concussion substitute, was involved in a 38-run partnership with Liton as they stretched the lead past 200. But Afridi came back to restrict Bangladesh, getting Liton out lbw before bagging his fifth when he got Abu Jayed to glove the ball to the ‘keeper. Taijul was the last to depart, stumped off Sajid who finished with three wickets.

Brief scores: Bangladesh 330 & 157 (Liton Das 59, Yasir Ali 36; Shaheen Afridi 5-32, Sajid Khan 3-33) lead Pakistan 286 & 109/0 (Abid Ali 56, Abdullah Shafique 53*) by 92 runs.

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