Shakib, Taijul strike after Mushfiq ton puts Bangladesh in pole position
Shakib Al Hasan and Taijul Islam snapped up four wickets collectively after Mushfiqur Rahim’s century as Bangladesh have Ireland on the ropes after only the second day of the Dhaka Test, as the tourists are reeling on 27-4 in the second innings, trailing Bangladesh by 128 runs on Wednesday.
Mushfiq’s 126, his 10th test ton, and substantial contributions from Shakib (87 off 94 balls), Mehidy Hasan Miraz (55 off 80 balls) and Liton Das (43 off 41 balls) took Bangladesh to 369 in their first innings, in reply of Ireland’s 214.
Irish off-spinner Andy McBrine was their most successful bowler, taking 6-118 in his 28 overs.
Trailing by 155 runs, Ireland lost four wickets in the 17 overs they batted in the final session, with Shakib and Taijul both claiming a couple of wickets each.
Earlier, Bangladesh resumed the day’s play on 34-2 with overnight batter Mominul Haque coming out to bat with new partner Mushfiq after Tamim Iqbal (21) got dismissed in the final ball of the opening day.
Mominul could add just five runs to his overnight score before getting bowled around his legs for 17.
Bangladesh were struggling on 40-3 when Shakib joined Mushfiq.
Shakib batted with a positive approach from the start, hitting boundaries in whenever the opportunity presented itself.
Shakib’s attitude rubbed off on Mushfiq, who also began hitting a few more strokes, which put the inexperienced Irish attack under a lot of pressure.
Shakib completed his 31st Test half-century off just 45 balls with the help of nine fours. The left-hander continued attacking the bowlers and the partnership crossed the 100-run mark off 109 balls.
Mushfiq was stuck in the 40s for a while before hitting Harry Tector for a four with a sweep to bring up his 26th Test fifty.
Bangladesh scored a total of 136 runs in the 27-over morning session with the loss of just one wicket.
In the second session, although Bangladesh lost Shakib and Liton, the scoring rate increased. The Tigers accumulated 146 runs in the session off 27 overs at a run rate of 5.40 to surpass Ireland’s first innings score of 214.
Mushfiq completed his century off 135 balls, his second fastest Test ton.
Shakib also looked set to score his first Test hundred since 2017 but in the end fell 13 runs short, giving a catch to the keeper against McBrine.
Liton, who came out to bat with his sunglasses on, took on the Irish bowlers from the get go and played an entertaining 41-ball 43-run knock, which ended when he hit leg-spinner Ben White straight down the throat of Harry Tector at mid-off.
Just one ball before his dismissal, Liton was lucky to survive a run out chance when he was stranded at the middle of the pitch after a miscommunication with Mushfiq. But wicketkeeper Lorcan Tucker couldn’t gather a regulation throw from Tector allowing Liton to reach the striker’s end in time.
But Liton couldn’t make use of that life.
In the third session, Mushfiq’s attempt to hit McBrine for a six backfired and he was brilliantly caught by Murray Commins.
Miraz then batted with the tail, completed his fifty and also took Bangladesh’s lead over 150 before departing as the final batsman, getting stumped off White.
The pitch at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium has started to keep low and favour the spinners as it usually does.
The Tiger spinners took full advantage of that as Shakib and Taijul opened the attack and both struck twice inside seven overs to reduce Ireland to 13-4.
Peter Moor and Harry Tector then saw off the remaining overs and remained unbeaten on 10 off eight respectively.