Bangladesh closes gap to Pakistan to 161 runs in first test

RAWALPINDI: Teenage fast-bowler Naseem Shah gave Pakistan an early breakthrough after Haris Sohail’s half-century earned the home team a 212-run lead in the first test against Bangladesh on Sunday.

The 16-year-old Naseem, who hit the headlines for his pace when he made his debut against Australia last year, clean bowled debutant Saif Hassan (16) off a delivery that stayed low as Bangladesh moved to 51-1 at tea on the third day.

The visitors still trail by 161 runs after Bangladesh seamers claimed Pakistan’s last seven wickets for 103 runs and dismissed the home team for 445.

Tamim Iqbal, who had scored a triple century in a domestic first-class match before arriving in Pakistan last week, was batting on 32 while Najmul Hossain Shanto was on 3 at the tea break.

Earlier, Haris’ counter-attacking 75 off 103 balls helped Pakistan stretch its lead past the 200-run mark after the home team resumed from its overnight 342-3.

Bangladesh seamers bowled to a much more disciplined line and length with the second new ball before Pakistan was bowled out an hour into the second session.

The three seamers -- Abu Jayed (3-86), Rubel Hossain (3-113) and Ebadot Hossain (1-97) -- shared the bulk of wickets with Pakistan lower order crumbling.

Haris hit seven fours and two sixes before he was the ninth batsmen to be dismissed when he holed out in the deep while attempting a big shot against the left-arm spin of Taijul Islam, who finished with 2-139.

Earlier, Bangladesh hit back with four wickets as the hosts lost century-maker Babar Azam off Jayed’s first ball of the day before reaching 420-7 at lunch.

Rubel claimed the wickets of Mohammad Rizwan (10) and Yasir Shah (5) in Bangladesh’s most productive session of the match as Pakistan could only add 78 runs.

Babar, who scored 143 off 193 balls and hit 18 fours and a six during his nearly 4-1/2 hours at the crease, was taken at first slip when caught in two minds whether to leave the ball or to cut the rightarm seamer Jayed. Ebadot induced an inside edge of Asad Shafiq’s bat off a delivery that nipped back into the right-hander as Pakistan lost its two set batsmen within the first hour. Shafiq made 65 off 129 balls and hit nine fours and added 112 runs in a fourth-wicket stand with Babar.

Rubel, who was wicketless on the second day, finally got among the wickets when Rizwan mistimed a pull off a short delivery and top edged to fine leg.

Rubel then broke the 41-run seventh-wicket stand between Haris and Yasir Shah when he won an lbw referral before dismissing Shaheen Afridi, who was also trapped leg before wicket shortly after lunch.