1st Test: Bangladesh Recover After Afridi’s Early Blows
Shaheen Afridi dismissed Saif Hassan and skipper Mominul Haque. (AFP Image)

Lanky pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi struck twice on Friday as Bangladesh struggled to 95-3 at lunch on the opening day of the first Test in Rawalpindi. The 19-year-old removed debutant Saif Hassan (nought) off the third ball of the match and then had skipper Mominul Haque (30) to help Pakistan cash in on their decision to bowl first after winning the toss.

Opener Najmul Hossain Shanto was unbeaten on a career best 44 and Mahmudullah not out on 17, carrying the fight to Pakistani bowlers with an unbroken stand of 33 for the fourth wicket. Shanto, whose previous best of 18 was against New Zealand in 2017, has so far hit six boundaries to lead Bangladesh’s fightback.

The greenish-yellow Rawalpindi stadium pitch had prompted Pakistan to play with three fast bowlers and a spinner and it worked well for the home team. Fast bowler Mohammad Abbas trapped opener Tamim Iqbal with the tenth ball of the match for three to leave Bangladesh tottering at 3-2.

Iqbal, who last Sunday smashed Bangladesh’s highest first-class score with 334 not out in a domestic match, tried to play across but missed the ball. Umpire Nigel Llong of England had rejected the appeal but Pakistan wisely had it reviewed and the replay showed the ball hitting the stumps.

Haque and Shanto revived the innings during their third wicket stand of 59 before Haque miscued a drive and was caught behind by wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan off Shaheen. Haque smashed five crisp boundaries during his confident knock.

– (Agence France-Presse)