Bangladesh vs Pakistan: Babar, Azhar guide visitors to 161/2
Substantial knocks from the top four put Pakistan in the driving seat on Day 1 of the second Test against Bangladesh. Skipper Babar Azam emerged as their top-scorer, sharing a 91-run stand with top-order batter Azhar Ali. Meanwhile, Taijul Islam was the only Bangladesh bowler who impressed. The run-curtailed day completely belonged to Pakistan. Here is Day 1 report.
How did Day 1 pan out?
Pakistan made an eventful start, with Abid Ali and Abdullah Shafique sharing a 59-run stand. Islam removed the duo just before lunch. Azhar and Babar helped Pakistan regain momentum in the second session. The two batters negotiated the Bangladeshi bowlers with ease. They added 91 runs for the third wicket before rain played spoilsport. A total of 57 overs were bowled on Day 1.
Babar registers his 19th half-century in Tests
Pakistan captain Babar came in the middle when they were reduced to 70/2. He anchored the Pakistani innings, playing some elegant strokes. Babar raced to his 19th half-century in Test cricket off 75 deliveries (fourth 50+ score in 2021). He opted a defensive approach thereafter. Babar is unbeaten on 60* (99) and has smashed 7 fours and 1 six so far.
Second-most runs in international cricket in 2021
Babar is now the second-highest run-scorer in international cricket this year. He has racked up 1,658 runs from 40 matches across formats at an average of 42.51. Babar eclipsed England Test captain Joe Root on the tally (1,602). Further, the former has the most fifty-plus scores (16) this year (international cricket). He owns three tons and 13 half-centuries.
How did others perform?
While Babar was the aggressor, Azhar played second-fiddle. He is unbeaten on 36 (112). The latter hasn't recorded a 50+ score in his previous six Test innings. Besides, opener Abid Ali was impressive at the start. He smashed 6 fours to score 39 off 81 balls. His compatriot Abdullah Shafique couldn't capitalize upon his start (25 off 50 balls).