RAWALPINDI, Feb 09 (APP):Pacer Naseem Shah became the youngest bowler ever to take a Test hat-trick as Bangladesh slumped to 126/6 in the second innings of the first fixture of the two-match series of ICC Test Championship at Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi on Saturday.
The 16-year-old young pacer achieved the feat just before the close of the day-three play when he trapped Bangladesh’s second highest run scorer of the first innings Najmul Hossain Shanto in front as he was adjudged lbw upon an excellent review call by skipper Azhar Ali.
Next to go was nightwatchman Taijul Islam, who remained unable to negotiate an inswinging delivery that hit him flush on the boot. Then came the hat-trick ball that had Mahmudullah looked to drive, but only nicking it behind where Haris Sohail took a spectacular catch.
Naseem, who became the ninth youngest Test debutant in the opening Test against Australia in Brisbane last year finished the day with 26/4 in his 8.2 overs. The pacer was withdrawn from Pakistan’s squad for the Under-19 World Cup as Pakistan team head coach-cum-selector Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis wanted him to be part of the senior outfit.
Earlier, Bangladesh produced a much better performance in the field as they took seven Pakistan wickets, allowing the hosts add only 103 to their overnight score and reach to 445. A fine counter-attacking knock from Haris Sohail is to be credited to give Pakistan a 212-run lead.
Bangladesh bowlers showed signs of improvement at the start of the day as both Babar Azam and Asad Shafiq fell cheaply. Babar lost his wicket on the very first ball of the day as he edged a length delivery from pacer Abu Jayed to Mohammad Mithun at the first slip.
His 143 was his fifth Test hundred, which was filled with attractive batting strokes. He stayed at crease for hours and 37 minutes, hitting a six and 18 fours. Asad, who added 137 for the fourth wicket with Babar could only add five to his overnight score of 60 as he was caught behind off fast bowler Ebadat Hossain. His fifty came off 72 balls with the help of six fours and a six.
When Pakistan were at 415 an in swinger from right-arm fast bowler Rubel Hossain struck Yasir Shah on the pad and he was given lbw on a review taken by Bangladesh. At lunch, Bangladesh had grabbed four important Pakistan wickets while conceding just 78 runs in the session.
At this point Pakistan were 420/7, 187 ahead of the visitors. After the lunch they could only add 25 runs while losing their all rest of the batsmen. Wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan fell for 10 as he miscued a hook off Rubel Hossain that safely landed in Mahmudullah’s hands at fine leg. Rubel also sent Yasir Shah for five and Shaheen Shah Afridi for three, both leg-before to finish with figures of 3-113.
Tasked to avoid a daunting challenge to avoid an innings defeat, Bangladesh’s opening batsman Saif Hassan, who went for a duck in the first innings scored 16 before being clean bowled by young fast bowler Naseem Shah in the ninth over when the visitors were at 39.
The other opener Tamim Iqbal, who recently scored a record-breaking unbeaten knock of 334 in Bangladesh domestic cricket was lbw by Yasir Shah after the tea-break. He scored brisk 34 off 56 with the help of four boundaries. Mohammad Mithan was also clean bowled by Yasir Shah on a duck.
At stumps the visitors were by trailing by 86 runs with four wickets in hand. Skipper Mominul Haque was unbeaten at 37, while Litan Das who faced just one delivery was yet to open his quota.