Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam led Bangladesh’s fightback against Pakistan with his ninth five-wicket haul before their top-order once again failed against the visitors during the third day of the first Test in Chattogram on Sunday.
Taijul finished with 7-116 – the best bowling figure by a Bangladeshi bowler against Pakistan in a Test innings – that helped the hosts bowl out Pakistan for 286 runs in their first innings that gave them a 44-run lead over the visitors.
Bangladesh then witnessed yet another collapse in their second innings as they finished the day at 39-4 that took their lead to 83 runs but they lost the chance of finishing the day on top against the visitors.
Pakistani pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi bowled a brilliant six-over spell to dismiss Shadman Islam (one), Najmul Hossain Shanto (zero) and Saif Hassan (18) to finish the day with 3-6.
Hasan Ali also scalped the wicket of captain Mominul Haque for a duck to rob the hosts of their advantage. Mushfiqur Rahim remained unbeaten on 12 alongside debutant Yasir Ali, eight not out.
Pakistan, who were set for a big total, suffered an early setback on day three when Taijul trapped debutant Shafique leg-before in the fifth ball of the day.
Shafique left without adding to his overnight score before Taijul took Azhar Ali for a duck in the very next ball when the delivery hit him on the foot.
Off-spinner Mehidy Hasan uprooted his off-stump with a straight delivery after the Pakistan skipper made only 10 runs.
Taijul grabbed his third wicket when he beat Fawad Alam with spin to remove the batsman for eight. Bangladesh sought a review after the umpire turned down a confident caught-behind appeal.
The replay indicated the ball took a feather touch on Alam’s glove, ending his brief stay at the crease.
Abid, who struck 12 fours and two sixes, was also lucky to survive after he was dropped at slip by Najmul off Taijul at 113.
He was dropped again by Yasir at forward short leg on 133 but it didn’t cost Bangladesh much with Taijul taking him leg before two balls later.
Pakistan had by then lost Mohammad Rizwan to Ebadot Hossain (2-47) who later bowled Sajid Khan for five.
Faheem and Shaheen (13 not out) frustrated Bangladeshi bowlers by adding 29 runs for the last wicket stand before Taijul removed the former to finish Pakistan’s innings at the stroke of tea on the third day.
Bangladesh, who were reduced to 49-4 before they made 330 runs in the first innings, saw another collapse and they were this time reduced to 25-4 in the second innings.
With Mushfiqur and debutant Yasir at the crease and first-innings centurion Liton Das still waiting at the dugout, Bangladesh will be hoping to post a challenging total so that their bowlers can defend the target to give them the taste of the first Test win over Pakistan in the 12th meeting.