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Mominul helps Bangladesh start strongly

Left-hand batsman makes 80 to steer Bangladesh to 236 for 4 on opening day of first Test against Pakistan

Mominul helps Bangladesh start strongly - Cricket News
Mominul Haque scored a fluent 80 to help Bangladesh start well on the opening day of the first Test against Pakistan.
Mominul Haque helped Bangladesh make a good start on the opening day of the first Test against Pakistan with a fluent 80. Haque, 23, made his 12th score in excess of fifty in his 13 Tests to steer the host to 236 for 4 on Tuesday (April 28) at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna. 

Haque came in after Tamim Iqbal (25) and Imrul Kayes (51) had put on 52 for the opening stand. Haque stitched together partnerships of 40 with Kayes for the second wicket, 95 with Mahmudullah (49) for the third, and 49 with Shakib Al Hasan, who was unbeaten on 19, for the fourth.

However, Haque missed out on the chance to score a fifth Test century as he fell off the final ball of the day, trapped leg before by Zulfiqar Babar, the left-arm spinner.

Zulfiqar could have struck earlier had he not spilled a return catch when Haque was on 19. Haque made the most of the reprieve and held Bangladesh's innings together as Pakistan were made to toil hard on a pitch that did not have much assistance for the bowlers.   

Haque now has a score of 50 or more in each of his last 10 Tests. Only Sir Viv Richards, AB de Villiers, and the Indian duo of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag have more such scores in consecutive Test matches. 

It was Yasir Shah, the leg-spinner, who gave Pakistan the breakthrough when he had Tamim caught at forward short-leg shortly before lunch. 

Mohammad Hafeez had earlier dropped Tamim when he was on 16, at leg-slip. But he made up for the mistake by taking a catch off his bowling to dismiss Kayes after the break. 

Mahmudullah and Haque then kept Pakistan's bowlers at bay for the next couple of hours. It took a diving effort from Sarfraz Ahmed behind the stumps after tea to break the partnership. 

Pakistan's bowlers shared the wickets equally, with Wahab Riaz, Hafeez, Zulfiqar and Yasir picking up a wicket each. Junaid Khan was the only bowler who did not enter the wickets column. 

Bangladesh handed debut caps to Soumya Sarkar and Mohammad Shahid, the right-arm pacer, while Sami Aslam, the left-hand batsman, made his debut for Pakistan. Pakistan also chose to ignore Saeed Ajmal, opting for the left-arm spin of Zulfiqar and Yasir's legbreaks instead.

Prior to the Test match, Bangladesh had beaten Pakistan 3-0 in a three-match One-Day International series before picking up its first-ever win against it in a Twenty20 International. 

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