Sajid’s six-for corners Tigers
Pakistan off-spinner Sajid Khan's maiden six-wicket haul yesterday made things interesting in the ongoing second Test as Bangladesh need 25 more runs to avoid follow-on on the final day of the game at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.
A horrible batting display saw the Tigers reeling at 76 for seven at stumps on the fourth day.
Despite rain washing out almost two days' play, the game now awaits an exciting finish, thanks to some irresponsible batting by the hosts.
Following a delayed start to the fourth days' play, Mohammad Rizwan and Fawad Alam struck unbeaten fifties as Pakistan declared their first innings after scoring 300 for four before tea.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam took the challenge of continuing with spinners when bad light forced him from employing pacers at the latter stage of the day's play.
With just over a session remaining, Bangladesh batters seemed to be in a hurry as they opted for an attacking approach instead of negotiating Pakistan spinners Sajid and Nauman Ali cautiously.
Except for a run-out, all the other wickets on the day were scalped by Sajid.
Debutant Mahmudul Hasan Joy was the first to depart as he edged one back to slip to become the second Bangladeshi opener to register a duck on debut after Saif Hassan.
And Shadman Islam's soft dismissal, presenting a simple catch to the fielder at point, and Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque's nonsensical run-out meant the Tigers were left at 22 for three at tea.
Surprisingly, Bangladesh's aggressive approach continued even in the final session. Experienced Mushfiqur Rahim probably had a brain fade as he went for a big shot immediately after smashing a boundary following a close LBW call. He only ended up gifting a catch to short mid-wicket, putting the hosts under tremendous pressure.
Liton Das, centurion of the first Test, was also guilty of throwing his wicket away as he handed a return catch to Sajid after coming down the track. Najmul Hossain, after living dangerously for a while, was trapped in front as Sajid picked up his maiden fifer in Tests.
Even the experienced Shakib Al Hasan, who came to bat at number seven, charged the Pakistani spinners.
In the dying hours of the day, Mehedi Hasan Miraz was bowled while going for a slog sweep. And it seemed as if the Bangladesh dressing room was relieved after the umpire finally called off the days' play an hour before the scheduled time due to bad light.
Shakib, unbeaten on 23, will have to take the responsibility to help Bangladesh avoid follow-on and save the Test when they resume play today.