Babar Azam celebrates after completing his century as his teammate Asad Shafiq claps during the second day of the 1st Test against Bangladesh at Rawalpindi cricket stadium on Saturday. AP
Azam scored a career best unbeaten 143 for his third successive hundred in as many Tests — fifth of a burgeoning career —while opener Shan Masood made 100 as they pulverised a hapless Bangladesh attack at Rawalpindi stadium.
Babar Azam (L) and Shan Masood take a break during the second day of the first cricket Test match against Bangladesh. AFP
At close, Azam was still batting with Asad Shafiq on 60, piling agony on the visitors during their unbroken 137-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Masood said he and Azam have done their jobs.
"We have batted our way to take the team in a strong position and hope that the remaining batsmen come and score so that we can build a good lead," said Masood, who hailed Azam as world class.
"When Babar was coming out to bat the crowd chanted 'Babar, Babar' and that is the sign of a great batsman who is so popular."
Pakistan lead Bangladesh's first innings total of 233 by 109 runs with six wickets intact.
Since his fighting century against Australia at Brisbane (104) in November last year, Azam has notched 102 not out and 100 not out against Sri Lanka in two Tests — making this his fourth hundred in five Tests.
In between he missed a hundred at Adelaide by a mere three runs.
Azam steered spinner Taijul Islam to short third man boundary for his 15th four to complete three-figure mark off just 134 balls.
He has so far batted for 276 minutes, smashing 18 boundaries and a six. His previous best score was 127 against New Zealand in Dubai in November 2018.
Shafiq also batted with confidence, having so far hit eight boundaries in his 111-ball knock.
When Pakistan started their innings in the morning all focus was on Abid, who scored two hundreds in his first two Tests against Sri Lanka in December last year.
Another hundred would have equalled Indian player Mohammad Azharuddin's unique record — three successive centuries in his first three Tests — but Abid fell far short when he was dismissed without scoring.
He edged a short and wide delivery from Jayed into the hands of wicketkeeper Liton Das and trudged off to the pavilion heartbroken.
Azhar added 91 runs for the second wicket with Masood and looked set for a big score until he miscued a drive off Jayed and was caught by Najmul Hossain Shanto in the slip.
Rain arrived an hour before the scheduled toss at 1.30pm local time before umpires called off the play at 3.55pm local time, to the disappointment of around 5,000 fans at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Bangladesh were bowled out for 168 in their second innings after resuming the day on 126-6 as Pakistan's pace and spin attack was too hot to handle despite a flat Rawalpindi pitch.
In-form Iftikhar Ahmed has been included in place of Mohammad Hafeez as the national selection committee announced an 18-member Pakistan squad for the tour of Bangladesh where a three-match T20 series will be staged on Nov.19, 20 and 22 in Dhaka.
The incident occurred during the third over of Bangladesh's innings, when Afridi fielded the ball on his follow through and threw it at Afif, hitting him on the foot. The batsman was within the popping crease and not intending to take a run.
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