Dhaka, December 8: The stage was set for Sajid Khan as he returned sensational bowling figures of 8/42 and 4/86, guiding Pakistan to an unforgettable win in the Dhaka Test.
The victory keeps Pakistan on the second spot in the ICC World Test Championship standings, taking their win percentage to 75%, while Bangladesh are languishing at the bottom with two in two losses and zero points.
No final session on Day 1, only 6.2 overs of action on the second day, not a ball being bowled on the third day, a delayed start on day four and still Pakistan managed to claim an emphatic win.
Sajid Khan spun his magical web to dismantle the Bangladesh line-up with his brilliant performance. He wrapped up the hosts’ second innings for 205 as Pakistan sealed a victory by an innings and eight runs, and the series 2-0.
With only four wickets in hand in the final session, Shakib Al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan were leading Bangladesh’s charge to keep their hopes of a draw alive. However, Pakistan were determined for a win. Their skipper Babar Azam claimed his first wicket in international cricket, dismissing Mehidy lbw for a 70-ball 14, and bringing an end to a crucial 51-run stand.
One brought two more for Pakistan as the hosts lost Shakib and Khaled Ahmed in quick succession. Sajid cleaned up Shakib for a well-made 63, and in his next over he snared Khaled’s wicket. He later also claimed the final wicket of Taijul Islam.
Earlier, Bangladesh started the day on 76/7 in the first innings with Taijul Islam, who was yet to get off the mark, and Shakib Al Hasan on 23. Sajid Khan had bothered the hosts the previous day, bagging six wickets and he continued from where he had left off.
In his first over of the day, he took his wickets tally of the innings to seven with Taijul failing to defend a slider. Shaheen Afridi joined the celebrations in the next over, knocking over Khaled Ahmed for a duck.
Soon, Sajid wrapped up Bangladesh’s first innings on 87 with the dismissal of Shakib (33). He finished with figures of 15-4-42-8 – Pakistan’s fourth-best bowling figures in a Test innings.
With the visitors already 213 runs ahead, and with two full sessions remaining, they enforced a follow-on in the hope of churning out a result in their favour.
Pakistan got off to a dream start in the second outing. In the third over, Bangladesh lost opener Mahmudul Hasan Joy with Hasan Ali cleaning him up for 6. That sparked a top-order collapse as Bangladesh lost two wickets in the next two overs – Shadman Islam (2) was trapped in front by Shaheen and Hasan struck in a similar fashion with Mominul Haque (7) out lbw.
A couple of overs later, the hosts faced another blow when Shaheen had Najmul Hossain Shanto caught for 6, leaving Bangladesh reeling at 25/4.
The onus was on the experienced Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das. Together the duo combined for a much-needed stand of 47* in the morning session to take their side to Lunch at 72/4.
Post Lunch, Das resumed the proceedings in style with a boundary on the first ball of the afternoon session off Sajid. Both the batters looked settled at the crease, and on a mission to carry their side to a draw.
However, a few overs later, Sajid struck again. Das, in an attempt to pull a short ball, played straight into the hands of the square leg fielder, Fawad Alam, who fumbled first but caught it safely the second time. The Bangladesh batter looked dejected, making a long walk back to the dugout after missing out on a fifty by five runs.
Rahim was then joined by the reliable Shakib. While Rahim stayed firm at the crease from one end, Shakib occasionally accelerated the scoreboard with boundaries. He even struck three fours in a row off Hasan.
The duo’s partnership was approaching the 50-run mark, but Bangladesh lost Rahim on the stroke of Tea. Shakib hit the ball towards short mid-wicket and called for a single that had run Rahim out for 48.