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Dhaka Tribune

Late Mominul dismissal tilts balance

Update : 28 Apr 2015, 07:54 PM

If Mominul Haque had not fallen 20 runs short of a well-deserved fifth hundred, Bangladesh could well have ended the first day of the first Test against Pakistan in the driving seat. As fate would have it, Mominul was dismissed off the penultimate delivery of the opening day as the Tigers ended the day’s proceedings on 236/4 in 89.5 overs at Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium yesterday.

Heading into the first of two Test matches, Bangladesh were in an imposing mood having swept the three ODIs and solitary Twenty20 international but the decision to pick eight batsmen raised quite a few eyebrows. The Tigers targeted a win in the first Test but the inclusion of eight batsmen and only three specialist bowlers indicated that the home side are actually playing for a draw. 

And, the start of the day’s play hinted exactly that as openers Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes began the innings in a circumspect manner. The SANS wicket was a typical sub-continental pitch, tailor-made for the batsmen, especially on the first day. The wicket had hardly any assistance for the pacemen but provided occasional turn to the spinners. 

The Pakistan slow bowlers exploited the conditions perfectly as Tamim departed for 25, off the bowling of leg-spinner Yasir Shah, but not before posting 50 runs for the opening wicket alongside Imrul.

At the other end, Imrul was batting with confidence, a far cry from his recent run of disappointing form in the ODIs. The left-hander reached his fifty, his second in Tests, before off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez sent him back to the hut.

Following the openers’ departures, the Tigers slowly started to gather momentum through the third-wicket stand between Mahmudullah and Mominul. The 95-run stand enabled Bangladesh to a handsome position of 187/2 but Mahmudullah was unlucky as he fell just a run short of his 12th fifty. The in-form right-hander edged a Wahab Riaz delivery to wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed. 

Mominul seemed to be unperturbed by the dismissals at the other end as he continued his magnificent streak in Tests. The diminutive left-hander reached yet another fifty for the 10th consecutive Test and was gradually progressing towards his century.

The Cox’s Bazar lad milked boundaries whenever he got the opportunity and probably targeted a century on the second day but left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar had other ideas as he trapped him in front. Mominul’s 162-ball knock came to an end with Shakib al Hasan (19 not out) stranded at the other end.

Shakib and skipper Mushfiqur Rahim will resume the second day’s play today.

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