Pakistan quicks combine to unsettle Bangladesh early on the first morning

Pakistan quicks combine to unsettle Bangladesh early on the first morning

All four of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf and Sajid Khan got a wicket each in first session

On a day in Chattogram that began with an earthquake and saw smoke from a nearby fire billowing above the stadium, Pakistan rocked the Bangladesh top order and blazed through the middle to get on top early in the contest. The wickets were shared among Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf and Sajid Khan, each getting one batter out to leave Bangladesh tottering at 49 for 4 inside 17 overs, before Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das clung on to nudge the score to 69 by lunch.

The sides had been roused well before the scheduled start in the early hours of the morning, but mercifully little damage was done as the Test began on time. Mominul Haque continued the trend Mahmudullah had started in the T20Is by besting Babar Azam at the toss, and, like Mahmudullah, opted to bat first.

But it was Pakistan who called the early shots, dominating the early passages of play with a new ball that found a surprising amount of swing. However, with Saif Hassan willing to drive on the up and put anything too straight away to the legside boundary, it was the effort ball from Afridi that fetched Pakistan’s first wicket. The left-arm quick banged one in that threatened to lodge up the batter’s nostrils, as the desperate fend-off from Saif found Abid Ali at short leg.

His opening partner fell to an inswinging ball from around the wicket from Hasan – who had been somewhat wayward up till then – when the bowler trapped him in front, beating the left-hander on the angle. Spinner Sajid got into the act shortly after, coaxing an edge from Mominul, which the umpire somehow missed, only to be overturned on review. Pakistan threatened to run riot when Faheem had Najmul Hossain Shanto caught sharply at point by Sajid, bringing Mushfiqur and Liton to the crease.

The pair hung around until lunch, and Bangladesh would have taken heart from the final 45 minutes. Once the pitch appeared to settle down and the shine had been taken off the ball, Mushfiqur and Liton appeared in relative control even if runs were in short supply. But the worry for the home side would have been that there had been too much bloodletting by the time they found a foothold in the innings.

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