Pakistan rattle Bangladesh top order

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Shaheen Afridi celebrates the wicket of Said Hassan with his teammates. -AFP

CHITTAGONG: Pakistan’s bowlers struck early to reduce Bangladesh to 69 for four at lunch on the opening day of the first Test in Chittagong on Friday.

At the break at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Mushfiqur Rahim was on five and Liton Das on 10.

Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf and Sajid Khan each claimed a wicket to put the hosts in trouble after Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque won the toss and elected to bat first.

Afridi set the tone for Pakistan with a gem of a delivery in the fifth over that rose sharply to glance off opener Saif Hasan´s bat to Abid Ali at short leg. He made 14.

Hanan then trapped the other opener Shadman Hossain leg-before for 14.

Skipper Mominul fell soon afterwards, scoring just six as Sajid spun one sharply to take an edge that was gladly accepted by wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan.

The umpire initially declared Mominul not out but the decision was overruled on review.

Najmul Hossain got off the mark with a four but he too perished soon cutting a Faheem delivery straight to Sajid at point.

Pakistan handed batsman Abdullah Shafique a Test debut while Yasir Ali was making a Test debut for Bangladesh in the two-match series.

‘Dream come true’

Pakistan gave the Test cap to Abdullah Shafique while Yasir Ali made his debut for the hosts.

Babar Azam gave the cap to Abdullah Shafique after which he became the 246th player to play Test cricket for Pakistan.

Expressing his excitement on this occasion, Abdullah Shafique said it is the desire of every cricketer to represent his country in Test cricket. “Today, my dream has come true and I am very happy about it.”

Shafique said he has learned a lot from his senior players and will do his best to perform well in the match.

As per the batting order, Abid Ali will open with the debutant.

Pakistan has a confident and settled middle-order with Azhar Ali, Babar Azam and Fawad Alam, followed by wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan at No.6.

Bangladesh will not have experienced Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan as the two are not available owing to their injuries.

Head-to-Head

Pakistan have played three series in Bangladesh and won five of the six Tests, with their last win in Dhaka in May 2015 by 328 runs. Azhar Ali and Mushfiqur Rahim are the only players from either sides to participate in that match.

Azhar had scored 226 and 25, while Mushfiq scored 12 and zero as Azhar walked away with the player of the match, which will also be remembered for centuries from Younis Khan (148) and Asad Shafiq (107) as well as match figures of 36.3-7-128-7 by Yasir Shah, who will miss the series as he is yet to recover from a thumb injury he sustained during the National T20.

Playing XI

Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (capt), Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan, Faheem Ashraf, Nauman Ali, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sajid Khan

Bangladesh: Shadman Islam, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mominul Haque (capt), Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Yasir Ali, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Abu Jayed, Ebadot Hossain, Saif Hassan

Umpires: Michael Gough (ENG), Sharfuddoula Ibne Shahid Saikat (BAN)

TV umpire: Gazi Sohel (BAN)

Match referees: Neeyamur Rashid (BAN)

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