Vol. 4 Num 94 Fri. August 29, 2003  
Front Page

Tigers brought to earth by deadly Shoaib burst

A breathtaking spell of fast bowling by Shoaib Akhtar ripped through the Bangladesh middle order as Pakistan came back strongly in the second Super Asia Test at the Arbab Niaz Stadium yesterday.

Shoaib, who had looked pedestrian in his earlier spells, suddenly unleashed some prodigious reverse swing after lunch and took five wickets in 16 balls to devastate the Bangladesh batting which was sitting pretty on 302 for two. The Tigers, who had resumed the day on 240 for two, were bowled out for 361, losing their last eight wickets for a mere 51 runs, with Shoaib taking six for 50 from 22.5 overs.

In reply, the home side were on 134 for 2 at stumps but in effect, were three down as all-rounder Shoaib Malik was ruled out for the rest of the game with a groin injury.

Bangladesh must be kicking themselves for not being able to take the match away from the Pakistanis. Riding on Javed Omar's maiden Test century and a fine fifty from Mohammad Ashraful, they clearly had the edge until all went wrong after lunch. Shoaib began the slide when he found the gap between Omar's bat and pad with an incoming full toss to shatter his stumps.

Omar departed for a workmanlike 119, leaving Bangladesh on 310 for three. Omar became the fourth Bangladeshi batsman to have scored a Test ton. Resuming on 96 not out, he reached the magical three-figure mark after edging Shoaib to third man in the third over of the day. He and Ashraful had put on a record 130 for the third wicket, the second century partnership of the innings.

In the second ball of his very next over, Shoaib had Mohammed Ashraful (77) caught off a miscued pull to leave the tourists on 315 for four.

Rajin Saleh (3), who had made an encouraging debut in Karachi, failed to make an impact and was caught behind to leg-spinner Danish Kaneria on the same score.

Bangladesh were in tatters after Akhtar found the inside edge of Alok Kapali and wicket-keeper Rashid Latif completed a nice catch with no addition to the scoreboard.

Five runs later, Khaled Mashud inexplicably played no shot to another incoming ball and was duly adjudged leg before for a duck.

Bangladesh at one stage lost six wickets for only 10 runs. Captain Khaled Mahmud ensured that the Tigers cross the 350-mark with a gutsy 25 off 43 balls with two fours before he was caught at long leg while trying to pull Shoaib.

It was the fast bowler's sixth five-wicket haul in his 27-match Test career.

Pakistan lost opener Mohammad Hafeez who was caught behind off Khaled Mahmud for 21. Left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique then sparked celebrations by getting the prized scalp of Yasir Hameed, who had scored 171 and 105 on debut in Karachi. Hameed let down his home crowd as he was bowled for 23.

Opener Taufeeq Umar and veteran Inzamamul Haque was batting on 60 and 24.

Bangladesh opener Javed Omar acknowledges crowd's applause after scoring his maiden hundred on the second day of the second Test against Pakistan in Peshawar yesterday. Photo: AFP