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Cricket
Umar century pushes Pakistan forward
Taufeeq Umar was lucky at the crease on day three but walked away with a century that puts Pakistan in strong position.
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2011 15:10
Umar made a valuable contribution of 130 for Pakistan on third day of second Test against Bangladesh [AFP] 

Taufeeq Umar rode his luck to crack 130 as Pakistan boosted their chances of reaching a first-innings lead on the third day of the second and final Test against Bangladesh in Dhaka on Monday.

The left-handed opener hit 16 fours in his seventh Test century, and second against Bangladesh, as Pakistan reached 292-3 in their first innings at stumps in reply to the hosts' 338.

Pakistan were just 46 runs behind with seven wickets in hand.

Umar put on 127 for the second wicket with Azhar Ali (57) and 95 for the next with Younis Khan, who remained unbeaten on 48. Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq was 26 not out when bad light stopped play.

"We will try our best to win this game as we have world-class bowlers, but it depends a lot on the weather"

Taufeeq Umar

Bangladesh paceman Nazmul Hossain, who returned to the Test side after seven years, struck with the second new ball when he had Umar caught by Shahriar Nafees at second slip in the last session.

"Every hundred is important in Tests but I think my debut century (in 2001) against Bangladesh was the best. The plan was to play normal game and wait for the bad ball. We are in a better position now," said Umar.

"We will try our best to win this game as we have world-class bowlers, but it depends a lot on the weather."

Pakistan lost just two wickets in the entire day, adding 205 runs to their overnight total of 87-1 after a delayed start due to fog.

Bangladesh went wicketless in the opening session and failed to make the most of the chances that came their way, letting off Umar three times and Younis once.

"Had we not dropped a couple of catches, we would have been in a different position by the end of the day," said Nazmul.

"There are still two days to go and it depends a lot on the weather, but we will take it session by session and try to get a positive result."

Many lives

The first opportunity came when Umar was on 56, but wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim did not even try to stump him off left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan while confidently appealing for a catch down the leg-side.

Umar was lucky to survive on 66 when he cut the first ball after lunch off paceman Robiul Islam, but Mohammed Nazimuddin dropped an easy catch at gully.

He was on 118 when Nafees failed to hold on to an edge at short-leg off left-arm spinner Elias Sunny, while Younis was dropped on 15 by Shahadat Hossain off Nasir Hossain.

Umar, 44 overnight, went on to complete his hundred when he cut off-spinner Mohammad Mahmudullah for a four in the second session.

He played some aggressive shots after reaching his century, driving Sunny through the covers for two successive boundaries.

Azhar, who hit paceman Shahadat for two fours in the opening over of the day, reached his half-century with a boundary off Sunny in the last over of the morning session. He hit seven fours in his 12th half-century in 18 Tests.

But he fell in the fourth over after lunch when Shakib - the most impressive of the Bangladeshi bowlers, conceding just 28 runs in his 18 overs - had him caught behind with a delivery that turned away sharply.

Pakistan lead 1-0 in the series after winning the opening Test in Chittagong by an innings and 184 runs.

Source:
AFP
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