Younis Khan cracked an unbeaten double-century and Asad Shafiq made his maiden international hundred as Pakistan closed in on victory in the first Test against Bangladesh yesterday. Younis smashed a solid 200 not out and Shafiq an impressive 104 as Pakistan posted 594-5 declared in their first innings in reply to Bangladesh's 135 in Chittagong.
Younis Khan celebrates his double ton in Chittagong yesterday. Pic/AFP
The hosts faltered against spin before reaching 134-4 in their second innings at stumps, with debutant Mohammed Nazimuddin and Shakib Al Hasan both unbeaten on 41, still trailing by 325 runs. "I'm very happy with the double-century and credit goes to the coaches and management of Pakistan's team. I dedicate this double-hundred to my family," said Younis.
Off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez, who was pressed into Pakistan's attack after only five overs, struck with his fifth delivery after the tea break when he bowled opener Tamim Iqbal for 15.
Three quick wickets Bangladesh lost three wickets in the space of six runs after Nazimuddin and Shahriar Nafees added 50 for the second wicket, with off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman and paceman Aizaz Cheema doing the damage. Nafees made 28 and Nasir Hossain three while Mohammad Ashraful failed to open his account before Nazimuddin and Shakib added 54 for the unbroken fifth-stand stand to steady the innings.
"Our batting has not been up to the expectations, maybe the confidence is a bit low at the moment. But still there was some positive batting from Shakib and Nazimuddin," said Bangladeshi left-arm spinner Elias Sunny. Pakistan declared in the afternoon session immediately after Younis turned left-arm spinner Shakib to square-leg for two runs to complete his double-century, his third score of 200 or more in 72 Tests.
Younis dominated the Bangladeshi attack with rich strokeplay, hitting three sixes and 18 fours in his 290-ball knock. Bangladesh continued to struggle for success as they took more than a session to get their lone wicket, but not before Younis and Shafiq had put on 259 for the fifth wicket. "I knew I'll get my first hundred because I'm working hard. So after I got it today, it's like a dream come true," said Shafiq.
"I just wanted to play positive and straight as much as possible. It was a pleasure to bat with Younis because he kept correcting me when I played wrong." Younis, 96 overnight, reached his 19th Test hundred in the opening over when he flicked paceman Shahadat Hossain for four. He was later caught off a Rubel Hossain no ball by Sunny at deep square-leg on 138.