With 1-0 down in the two-match Test series but boosted by the return of star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh will look to restore parity when they face Pakistan in Dhaka on Saturday.
Bangladesh v Pakistan, second Test
Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Mirpur
December 4-8, 10:00 am local
Pakistan are in the second spot on the ICC World Test Championship standings, while Bangladesh are languishing at the bottom. A win in the second Test will not only help them save face but also catapult them in the middle of the table.
The hosts will be happier with the return of Shakib as it fortifies both their batting and bowling departments. Considering their poor showing with the bat in the first Test, it will be an added advantage. Taskin Ahmed will inject some pace in a bowling attack bolstered by spin.
On the other hand, Pakistan will be confident about their batting strength. They have been a well-balanced team, buoyed with the form of their openers and their bowlers, which has helped them gain crucial points in the new WTC23 cycle. With momentum on their side, they will be looking to consolidate their position on the WTC table before their next Test assignment.
Remember the last time
Batting first in Chattogram, Bangladesh put up a decent first-inning total of 330 and managed to get a handy 44-run lead after bowling out Pakistan for 286. But the visitors turned things around in the second innings with a wonderful display of bowling led by Shaheen Afridi. The young bowler rattled the Bangladesh top order and strangled the run flow along with Sajid Khan and Hasan Ali. Despite fighting knocks from Liton Das (59) and Yasir Ali (36), Bangladesh were bowled out for 157, with Pakistan needing just 202 runs for victory and 1.5 days of play left.
Their openers gave them the right start with both Abid Ali (91) and Abdullah Shafique (73) getting their fifties and putting up a 151-run stand. The wickets came too late for Bangladesh as Azhar Ali (24*) and Babar Azam (13*) led them to a comprehensive eight-wicket victory to go 1-0 up in the series.
What they said
Mominul Haque (Bangladesh captain): "The most important thing in the Test match is the first hour, regardless of who is batting. If we can start well, things will be easier. Our strength is batting, so if we can bat for five or six sessions, we can certainly be in the game. We are going out there to win the Test."
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