Pakistans Lead of 296 Couldn't bring them Victory
"We didn't expect Bangladesh to play this way," Asad Shafiq said after Pakistan were stunned by the hosts registering their best partnership in Test history. Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes collected rapid hundreds for themselves and remain unbeaten as Bangladesh ended the fourth day at 273 for 0.
Pakistan had the upper hand in Khulna - a lead of 296 runs - but two poor sessions have softened their position. They may not lose the Khulna Test from here, but all thoughts of victory need to be put on hold.
A potent bowling attack lugged through 61 overs but have no wickets to show. But it had begun well enough. Junaid Khan delivered a ripper first ball to rap Tamim on the pads. It was given not out but Pakistan felt it was close enough to be referred. HawkEye showed it would only clip leg stump and the umpire's call was upheld. They lost their second review by the 28th over and the bowlers struggled to create any further chances.
Underestimating Bangladesh had cost them all the limited-overs matches on the tour and today they committed the same mistake. Mohammad Hafeez conceded four sixes in nine expensive overs. Junaid bowled eight overs went for 5.5 per over. Zulfiqar Babar was relatively more economical but couldn't provide the breakthrough. Wahab Riaz conceded 57 in 13 overs at 4.38 while Yasir Shah gave away 4.40 in 15 overs.
Misbah was helpless too. He was open to quirky fields, and even went to the trouble of going to a couple of men and telling them exactly where to stand. But Tamim and Imrul would not be budged. There was perhaps an argument to attempt a part-timer, like Shafiq or Younis Khan, to break the Bangladesh openers' concentration but Pakistan's assistant coach, Shahid Aslam, backed the tactics attempted on the day.
"Misbah did everything he needed to do," Aslam said. "He did exactly what he done to get them out in the first innings. We had to get a breakthrough and he tried all of his five bowlers but it didn't work and it happens sometime. He tried his best to attack with his resources and it wasn't that the bowlers were not responding or that they were tired to try something different with part-timers."
"It's part of cricket and that's how Test cricket rolls on," Aslam added. "Nothing is uncertain. Boys gave their hundred percent but it was a good start for Bangladesh. We only lost our grip in only two sessions and this game isn't over as yet. But yes it even again."
Shafiq echoed the same comments. "We lost three sessions so far out of twelve and this doesn't reflect that we played bad cricket," he said. "But we have to give some credit the way they batted. They played aggressive cricket and attacked our bowlers. We weren't expecting it and that's the reason our bowlers came under pressure.
"I don't know what exactly went wrong but Bangladesh played very well. But it's just a matter two quick wickets and we are back in game. We had wanted to get them bowled out as quickly as we can but the plan didn't go well as both of their batsman played unexpectedly. Our bowlers, in a bid to try hard, leaked too many runs. But we have the ability to bounce back and the final day tomorrow will be a decisive one.
"In the morning with our bowlers fresh we going to go hard and break this partnership and create panic in their batting."
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