Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 30 March 2020

Naseem Shah's fitness only concern for Pakistan as they secure innings win against Bangladesh

Hosts clinch first Test by innings and 44 runs to take 1-0 lead in Rawalpindi

Pakistan's Naseem Shah, right, and Yasir Shah, left, finished with four wickets each in the second innings of the Rawalpindi Test against Bangladesh. AFP
Pakistan's Naseem Shah, right, and Yasir Shah, left, finished with four wickets each in the second innings of the Rawalpindi Test against Bangladesh. AFP

Pakistan secured a comprehensive win by an innings and 44 runs over Bangladesh in the Rawalpindi Test on Monday to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

Bangladesh were bowled out for 168 in their second innings after starting the day on 126-6. The star of the show was 16-year-old fast bowler Naseem Shah, who had picked up a hat-trick on Sunday to finish with figures of 4-26. Shah, who became the youngest in history to pick up a Test hat-trick, was named man of the match.

However, there was a hint of disappointment in the Pakistan camp as Shah couldn't bowl on Monday and go for a five-wicket haul as he complained of rib pain.

After the match, Shah said there was nothing to worry about. "There's no problem. I went for an MRI scan yesterday. I pulled a muscle, there's nothing serious. I will resume bowling in a couple of days," he said.

“Picking up a hat-trick in front of your home crowd is special. I only hope I will be able to live up to the expectation of fans and team-mates.”

Bangladesh have now lost five out of their last six matches by an innings.

Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali said wins at home, made possible only recently following the resumption of Test cricket in the country, were important to raise confidence of the players.

"It's an important win and home wins always increase confidence within the team," said Azhar. "We have to play important away series including one in England (in July-August) so we will carry this confidence.

"Naseem and other bowlers bowled superbly and it was an outstanding batting display, so all in all it was a complete team effort."

Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque started the day by driving pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi for a boundary in the first over, but then fell lbw in the same over for 41.

Liton Das (29) and tail-ender Rubel Hossain kept Pakistan at bay for 11.5 overs before Mohammad Abbas trapped Rubel leg before wicket for five.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah dismissed Das lbw and had Abu Jayed for three to finish with 4-58. Haque said Bangladesh's first innings total of just 233 kept them on the back foot.

"Disappointing batting on a flat wicket (in the first innings) and no team can come back from such situations," said Haque, who has now lost all three Tests as captain by an innings.

"Pakistan bowled superbly and exploited our weaknesses and that hat-trick changed the game completely to open Pakistan's victory path."

With the win, Pakistan gained 60 points in the World Test Championship, taking their tally to 140 points. Bangladesh will return to Pakistan in April to play the second Test of the series and a one-off ODI at Karachi.

Updated: February 10, 2020 02:37 PM

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