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World Test Championship

Naseem Shah hat-trick puts Pakistan in control of Rawalpindi Test

Pak v Ban, 1st Test, day three, report

Pakistan paceman Naseem Shah claimed a hat-trick in the final session of day three to help his side slice through Bangladesh's middle-order as the hosts took full control of the Rawalpindi Test on Sunday, 9 February.

Naseem became the youngest bowler in the history of Test cricket to claim a hat-trick. He is also the first bowler from Pakistan to take a Test hat-trick since Mohammad Sami bagged one in the Lahore Test against Sri Lanka in March 2002. He finished the day with impressive figures of 4/26.

The first two sessions were a see-saw affair before Pakistan bounced back with crucial scalps to reduce Bangladesh to 126/6, trailing the hosts by 86, at the close of play. After bowling Pakistan out in the second session, Bangladesh lost opener Saif Hassan(16) to Naseem before reaching tea.

Shortly after the break, Yasir Shah dismissed the experienced Tamim Iqbal, lbw for 34. Najmul Hossain and skipper Mominul Haque then joined forces and steadied the proceedings for Bangladesh after losing their openers. The duo shared an important 71-run stand before Naseem made merry with the ball. 

He first trapped Najmul in front for 38 with the fourth ball of the 41st over, before dismissing Taijul Islam the next ball in similar fashion and finally, he snared the wicket of Mahmudullah to complete his hat-trick. On the penultimate ball of the day, Bangladesh lost another wicket when Yasir had Mohammad Mithun bowled for a duck. Haque is unbeaten on 37 with Liton Das, who is yet to get off the mark. 

Earlier, Bangladesh gave a good fight in the morning session after centuries from Shan Masood and Babar Azam helped Pakistan finish the previous day on 342/3, with a lead of 109. Abu Jayed provided the visitors with a dream start, snaring the big wicket of Babar with the second ball of the day. The Pakistan batsman fell for 143, without adding to his overnight score. 

Babar's partner from the previous day, Asad Shafiq, who resumed the day on 60, too failed to make his knock a big one. He was caught behind by the keeper Liton Das off Ebadot Hossain's bowling, for 65. 

Both Jayed and Ebadot enjoyed themselves with the new ball in hand, causing trouble for the Pakistan batsmen. After losing two wickets in quick succession early, the hosts lost another one – Mohammad Rizwan caught by Mahmudullah at fine leg, becoming Rubel Hossain's first victim. At one end Pakistan kept on losing wickets but Haris Sohail stayed firm. 

Rubel made it two shortly before the lunch break as Pakistan lost their fourth wicket of the day. The Bangladesh paceman had Yasir Shah trapped in front for 10. However, a fighting 54* from Sohail took the hosts to 420/7 at lunch, with a lead of 187.  

Bangladesh kept fighting back after the break as they first dismissed Shaheen Afridi in the first over of the afternoon session, and soon after Pakistan were all out for 445. Sohail was dismissed for 75, and Naseem Shah was run out in the next over for 2. Jayed and Rubel picked up three wickets apiece. 

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