DateLine: 6th May 2015
Pakistan accumulated runs on the opening day of the second Test against Bangladesh in Mirpur.
Centuries by Younis Khan and Azhar Ali helped the tourists reach 323-3 at stumps at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.
The hosts won the toss and elected to field, but their attack toiled. It was not the kind of start Bangladesh needed as it dealt a big setback to their confidence. Worse for the home team, a knee injury to their leading fast bowler Shahadat Hossain in the first over after bowling only two deliveries did not help their cause. Shahdat fell on the ground and in the process injured his knee.
Despite the opening-over injury to Shahadat, the Tigers did make inroads in the morning session and removed both openers before lunch.
Bangladesh missed the trick when they took only two wickets in the first session on a pitch which was assisting fast bowlers early in the morning and were guilty of bowling too many short and wide deliveries.
Mohammad Hafeez who had made a double century in the drawn opening Test fell early after edging Mohammad Shahid behind for just eight.
The score had moved to 58 when Sami Aslam played an aggressive shot to left-arm spinner Taijul Islam only to be caught by Shahadat at deep mid-wicket, who was still on the field at that point before aggravating his injury while practicing during lunch.
Azhar Ali got a lucky escape on 18 when he was caught by Soumya Sarkar at the third slip off Mohammad Shahid. But it turned out to be a no ball as no part of the bowlers foot was behind the line, and he took full advantage of the reprieve. Azhar and Younis scored in excess of four runs per over in the middle session to push the score to 196-2 at tea and both brought up their centuries after the adjournment. Younis reached his 29th Test century off 142 balls with Azhar more circumspect as he reached three figures for the eighth time in Tests from 211 deliveries.
They brought up the 300 shortly after the second new ball was taken with their 250-run stand for the third wicket, a record in matches between the teams. Younis departed for 148 late in the day, slicing Shahid to Shuvagata Hom in the gully, but Azhar remains unbeaten on 127. After Younis was dismissed, Misbah and Azhar Ali safely negotiated the remaining days play.
Pakistan are looking for their first win of the tour after losing all three One-Day Internationals and the Twenty20 match between the sides before last week’s drawn Test.
When Younis scored his 51st run, he surpassed Mohammad Yousuf for the most scores of 50 or more in Tests for Pakistan. This was the 58th time that Younis Khan has crossed 50 runs mark in his entire Test match career.
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