Younis, Azhar tons subdue depleted hosts

DHAKA: Pakistan were 323 for three at stumps on the opening day of the second and final Test against Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium on Wednesday.


Younis Khan scored 148 and Azhar Ali was unbeaten on 127.

The tourists lost Mohammad Hafeez (eight) and Sami Aslam (19) in the morning session to slide to 58-2 after Bangladesh won the toss and elected to field.

Younis was dismissed shortly before stumps, but skipper Misbah-ul Haq kept Azhar company at the close on nine.

After a dominating first session by Bangladesh, Azhar Ali and Younus Khan staged fightback for Pakistan with a mammoth 250-run stand for the third wicket.

Azhar Ali and Younus Khan scored centuries to put Pakistan in a commanding position. It was Younus’ 29th Test century.

Azhar, who is Pakistan’s skipper in One-Day Internationals, also completed his eighth Test century.

Both Azhar and Younus made the most out of what looked like batsmen-suited wicket at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.

Earlier in the day, seamer Mohammad Shahid and left-arm spinner Taijul Islam’s tight bowling helped Bangladesh reduce Pakistan to 70/2 by lunch.

Shahid justified Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim’s decision to bowl first when he forced Mohammad Hafeez to edge a catch in the fourth over.

Hafeez, who hit a double-century in the drawn first Test in Khulna, made just eight as Rahim completed the catch behind the stumps.

It could soon have been 38-2 when Azhar Ali edged Shahid to third slip, but TV umpire Ranmore Martinesz reprieved the batsman by declaring a no-ball.

Azhar, who was then on 18, moved to 36 by the break. Younis Khan was the other batsman at the crease on one.

Bangladesh suffered a blow when seamer Shahadat Hossain was ruled out for the rest of the Test after sending down just two deliveries in the first over of the match.

Shahadat, who replaced the injured Rubel Hossain for the decisive Test, collapsed on his follow through and hobbled off the field.

Shahadat returned after the drinks break, and even though he did not bowl for the rest of the session, he took a catch in the deep to dismiss Sami Aslam.

However, Shahadat broke down again while training during the lunch break and had to be lifted away on a stretcher.

Chief selector Faruque Ahmed said the 28-year-old seamer had injured his right knee and will take no further part in the match.

Taijul removed Aslam for 19, forcing him to pull a short ball to deep mid-wicket.

Both sides made one change each from the first Test, with Bangladesh replacing Rubel with Shahadat and Pakistan dropping spinner Zulfiqar Babar to play an additional seamer in Imran Khan.

Pakistan are looking for their first win at the end of the month-long tour where they were routed 3-0 in the one-day series and also lost a Twenty20 international for the first time against Bangladesh.


Younis, Azhar tons subdue depleted hosts by newsonepk