Hafeez helps Pak take 205-run lead

Hafeez helps Pak take 205-run lead
A sparkling maiden double century by Mohammad Hafeez (224) and some splendid batting by Pakistani batsmen put the tourists in a commanding position on the third day of the first Test here on Thursday.

The tourists piled up 537/5 at stumps after starting on an overnight score of 227/1, taking a lead of 205 runs. A scintillating 227-run stand between Hafeez and Azhar Ali (83) backed by five other 50-plus partnerships helped Pakistan claim the day, reports bdnews24.com.

Asad Shafiq (51) and Sarfraz Ahmed (51) were trying to extend Pakistan’s first innings advantage at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium. Although Bangladesh bowlers broke the overnight stand between Hafeez, who started the day on 137, and Azhar, they failed to stop the flow of runs.

Rubel Hossain got to reverse swing the ball but Bangladesh spinners could not extract much turn or bounce from the pitch and were repeatedly punished for wayward deliveries.

Even after Azhar was castled by a Shuvagata Hom Chowdhury quicker ball, Bangladesh could not keep the runs down as veteran Younis Khan (33) came in and added 62 with Hafeez.

Hafeez and Younis brought up their 50-run partnership as Pakistan went for lunch at 333/2.

After the break, Taijul Islam went through Younis’s gate when the veteran tried a lazy push to bring some relief to the hosts.

As Hafeez cruised towards his maiden double century, Bangladesh were trying to rein in the runs. But Hafeez and Misbah-ul-Haq (59) kept the scoreboard moving and added another 63 for the fourth wicket. Hafeez veered Taijul down the leg-side to bring up his maiden double century. He laced his innings with 23 fours and three sixes. His majestic knock ended when Mahmudullah took a sharp catch at leg-slip when the batsman swept hard but gloved it off Shuvagata.


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