Both openers score centuries in record opening stand to reduce Pakistan’s lead to just 23 runs on the fourth day
Unbeaten centuries from Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes helped Bangladesh reach 273 for no loss, trailing by just 23 runs, at the end of fourth day of the first Test against Pakistan in Khulna on Friday (May 1).
The 273-run stand between the Bangladesh openers is the highest partnership for any wicket in Tests for Bangladesh. Tamim remained unbeaten on 138 off 183 balls and also became the first Bangladesh batsman to score seven centuries, going past Mohammad Ashraful's tally of six. It was Tamim's third century in as many Tests, having made identical scores of 109 in the two Tests against Zimbabwe in November last year.
Kayes, who scored his second century, ended the day on 132 off 185 balls, as the Pakistan bowlers struggled on a placid wicket at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium that has already produced 1233 runs and just 20 wickets over four days.
The duo battled for over two sessions and, in the process, went past the previous record of 267, set by Ashraful and Mushfiqur Rahim for the fifth wicket against Sri Lanka in Galle in 2013.
With a monumental task in hand after Pakistan posted 628 in its first innings, there were fears that Bangladesh will struggle to keep the match alive. However, the openers settled in to ease the nerves. Tamim got to his century striking consecutive boundaries of Junaid Khan, while Kayes played a sweep for a single to bring up his own landmark soon after tea.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan took its overnight score of 537 for 5 to 628 before it was bowled out shortly before lunch, having batted for 120 overs.
The overnight pair of Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed added 126 runs for the sixth wicket to help the visitor build a solid lead. Mohammad Shahid, the debutant fast bowler, claimed his first Test wicket when he ended the stand by having Sarfraz (82) caught at mid-on by substitute fielder Litton Das. Shakib Al Hasan then sent back Shafiq (83) caught and bowled soon after.
Taijul Islam, the left-arm spinner, picked up his third five-wicket haul in six Tests and ended with 6 for 163. Tajiul wrapped up the innings when Mahmudullah, keeping wickets in place of the injured Rahim, stumped Zulfiqar Babar.
The second and final Test starts at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Dhaka from May 6.
To see the full scorecard of this match, please click here.