Left-hander Mominul Haque’s half-century guided Bangladesh to 236-4 against Pakistan at the close of opening day’s play of the first Test at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna on Tuesday. Mominul scored 80 runs from 162 balls before he was dismissed in the last over and the stumps on the first day were drawn immediately with both the team leaving ground fairly satisfied.The wicket of Mominul, who was trapped plumb in front, restored some parity after Pakistan toiled hard on a tricky wicket where Bangladesh made scoring look like a difficult job.
Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim believes another 150 runs would take them to a driving seat as the wicket appeared turning unlike the previous two Tests held at the ground.
Bangladesh were fortune to get the chance using the surface first after Mushfiq won the toss and elected to bat but Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes could only make a watchful start.
The first session yielded just 60 runs when they lost the wicket of Tamim, who was unable to use his life on 16 and fell for 25 in the second over of leg spinner Yasir Shah.
Azhar Ali took a sharp diving catch at forward short leg to bring an end to his 52-run opening stand with Imrul after Mohammad Hafeez had dropped Tamim at leg slip of left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar.
Imrul Kayes survived a strong leg before appeal off only third ball of the innings and grew in confidence to score his second fifty in 19 Tests to go with his two centuries.
However he returned to the dressing room for 51 in the next ball after a fortunate inside edge earned him his fifty.
Mominul and Mahmudullah (49) added 95 runs for the third wicket to foil the relentless Pakistan attack.
The fielders did not help their bowlers’ cause by being sloppy in ground fielding as Zulfiqar dropped Mominul off his own bowling when he was batting on 17.
The partnership that looked threatening was broken by fast bowler Wahab Riaz as he induced the right hander Mahmudullah to edge one to wicket keeper Sarfraz Ahmed who took a flying one-handed catch to his right.
Mominul and Sakib added 49 runs before Mominul’s wicket ruined Bangladesh’s day and gave Pakistan some mental courage after yet another difficult day on the tour.
-With New Age input