Sajid Khan bowls Pakistan to dramatic win
Pakistan sealed a dramatic win by an innings and eight runs in Dhaka's fading light to sweep the two-Test series 2-0 against Bangladesh. With more than two days lost to rain, Pakistan bowlers produced a commendable performance with Sajid Khan ending the game with 12 wickets.
There was plenty of drama as Pakistan kept chipping away with the light dropping by the minute. Bangladesh had been reduced to 204 for 9 after being asked to follow on but Taijul Islam and Ebadot Hossain played out 34 deliveries to keep Pakistan on their toes. Sajid bagged the last wicket as he trapped Taijul in front to give Pakistan their third win in the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23.
Bangladesh started the final session on the backfoot having lost Mushfiqur Rahim just before the break for 48. But Shakib al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan and did well to frustrate Pakistan with a 51-run stand and more crucially also consumed 139 deliveries to deny the visitors a wicket. Crucially for Bangladesh, the pair was still unbeaten when the final hour began. And then catastrophe struck.
Babar Azam bagged his maiden Test wicket when he had Mehidy lbw in the 76th over. Just nine deliveries later, Sajid bowled Shakib to leave Bangladesh precariously placed at 200 for 8. The fading light added to the drama as Bangladesh fans dearly hoped the last two wickets were somehow able to hold on. Sajid, however, dented those hopes when he had Khaled Ahmed caught behind in the 79th. Babar brought on Shaheen Afridi despite the fading light and Pakistan also chose to take the new ball as soon as it became available. Taijul and Hossain defied the new ball for 4.4 overs only for their hopes of saving the Test to come crashing down.
Bangladesh's resistance was built on their resolve in the second session where Rahim, Shakib and Liton Das dug deep to ensure they were abe to stretch the Test as much as possible. That, however, came only after there was plenty of drama in the opening session. Bangladesh were kept to just 87 after they started the day on 76 for 7. Shakib needed the bowlers to bat around but instead, Taijul and Ahmed got out for ducks before the allrounder was the last man to fall. Sajid Khan, who had picked six wickets on the fourth day, ended with figures of 8 for 42.
Pakistan had no hesitation in enforcing the follow-on in a bid to push for the win, and soon left the hosts reeling at 25 for 4. In the fourth over, Hasan nipped out Mahmudul Hasan Joy and in the fifth Shaheen trapped Shadman Islam lbw. Mominul Haque too was lbw and opted for the review to try and turn the decision. The Bangladesh captain, however, was given out because of the lack of conclusive evidence with the ball hitting the pad and the bat at the same time.
Unlike the morning session, where Bangladesh lost seven wickets in the opening 80 minutes, they were steady courtesy Liton, Rahim and Shakib. Das started the session with a boundary against Sajid and looked in good touch throughout his knock. Rahim and Liton made 73 off 150 and took the side close to 100 before Das fell struck. Sajid offered a short, hit-me ball to Das and the batter smashed it straight to short leg much to the disbelief of everyone. However, instead of panicking, both Rahim and Shakib ensured there was no more drama and steadily increased their association to 49 before catastrophe struck. Shakib flicked the ball to the on side and called Rahim for a single. Even with a full length dive, Rahim was short and had to walk back having made 48.
Brief Scores: Pakistan 300/4 decl. (Babar Azam 76, Azhar Ali 56; Taijul Islam 2-73) beat Bangladesh 87 (Sajid Khan 8-42) & 205 (f/o) (Shakib al Hasan 63; Sajid Khan 4-86) by an innings and eight runs.