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Pakistan close in on victory

Karachi, Aug. 23 (Reuters): Debutant Yasir Hameed produced another scintillating innings to take Pakistan close to victory over Bangladesh on the fourth day of the first Test on Saturday.

Set a victory target of 217, Pakistan had reached a commanding 112 for one at the close as Hameed, on 68, and opener Mohammad Hafeez (36) shared an undefeated 102-run partnership for the second wicket.

Bangladesh collapsed from a comfortable 251 for five to be bowled out for 274 in their second innings just before tea, with debutant pacer Shabbir Ahmed taking five for 48 as the last five wickets fell for 23 runs in 33 balls.

Ahmed conceded just seven runs and took four wickets to become only the seventh Pakistani bowler to take five wickets in an innings on his test debut.

That left a comfortable victory target on a slow-paced pitch for Pakistan, who took a first-innings lead of 58 after scoring 346 in reply to Bangladesh’s 288.

The second-innings collapse, despite Habibul Bashar’s second Test hundred and a resolute 60 from 231 balls by debutant Rajin Saleh, left Pakistan on course for their first Test win at the venue since beating Sri Lanka in 2000.

Different squads

Pakistan will have separate squads for Tests and ODIs, selection committee chairman Aamer Sohail said. “The idea now is to lay stress on specialisation in the Test squad.

“Our idea is to build a one-day squad based on youth, with stress on selecting players who are more of batting allrounders.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan fast bowler Mohammed Sami, out of the first Test, looks certain to be ruled out of the second Test and the ODI series with a stress fracture of the ankle.

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