Bangladesh eyeing first Test victory

MULTAN (Pakistan): Bangladesh remained in the hunt for their first-ever Test victory after Pakistan reached tea on the third day of the third and final Test still needing 209 to win with nine second innings wickets remaining. 

Pakistan, set 261, lost opener Salman Butt as they reached tea at 52-1 but it could have been worse but for two dropped catches. 

Pakistan earlier bowled out Bangladesh for 154 in their second innings. 

Pakistan have already won the series by winning the first two Tests in Karachi and Peshawar. 

Pakistan’s openers, the debutant Salman Butt and Mohammad Hafeez played some bold cricket when they came out to bat in a bid to stop Bangladesh pressing for their maiden Test win. 

After putting on 45 in quick time, the 18-year-old Butt fell to a brilliant stumbling catch by substitute fielder Mashrafe Mortaza at gully off Manjural Islam when he sparred at Manjural Islam without moving his feet. 

Butt’s 37 from 34 balls included seven boundaries. 

Bangladesh could have had the other opener Mohammad Hafeez in Islam’s next over when he offered a simple edge to Habibul Bashar at second slip but he put it down. 

Butt was also dropped by Hannan Sarkjar at third slip in Islam’s second over with the total on 13. 

After the early reprieve Butt played some exquisite drives through the covers off both the pace bowlers and Tapash Baisya was taken off after three overs as he conceded 17 runs. 

Bangladesh skipper Khaled Mahmud, who destroyed the Pakistan top order in the first innings with four wickets, had just three overs before tea and the batsmen understandably played him with caution. 

LONDON: Opener Herschelle Gibbs scored a near flawless 183 as South Africa threatened to bat England out of the fifth and final Test as well as the series on Thursday. 

Needing just a draw for their first series success in England since 1965, the South Africans rattled along at four runs an over, on an Oval pitch as perfect as the bowling was flawed, to close on 362 for four. 

Gibbs, who had made 179 in the first Test, knew he needed to conjure up something special after pushing towards cover early in his innings and calling his captain for a sharp single. 

Graeme Smith, on 18, was left yards short by Michael Vaughan’s throw. 

Gibbs, however, atoned for that by putting on 227 for the second wicket with Gary Kirsten while Smith, whose series began with 656 runs in four innings to be followed by 39 in the next four, twiddled his thumbs in the pavilion. 

The South African skipper had surely forgiven his opening partner by the time he joined him five-and-a-half hours and 258 balls later. 

Gibbs, in any case, felt no remorse. “There’s nothing I can do if he doesn’t back up,” he smiled. – Reuters  

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