KHULNA (BANGLADESH), May 1 (AFP): Openers Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes hit unbeaten centuries to lead a brilliant fightback by Bangladesh on the fourth day of the first Test against Pakistan here today.
The left-handed pair put on their nation�s highest partnership for any wicket as Bangladesh, trailing by 296 runs on the first innings, closed the day strongly at 273 for no loss in their second knock.
Tamim was unbeaten on 138 to become the first Bangladesh batsman to score seven Test centuries. He beat former captain Mohammad Ashraful�s tally of six hundreds.
It was Tamim�s third century in as many Tests, having made identical scores of 109 in the last two matches against Zimbabwe in November.
Imrul scored 132 not out, his third hundred, as the bowlers toiled on the placid wicket at the Sheikh Abu Naser stadium that has already produced 1,233 runs and just 20 wickets over the four days.
The pair batted through just over two sessions to surpass the previous Bangladesh record of 267 by Ashraful and current skipper Mushfiqur Rahim for the fifth wicket against Sri Lanka in Galle in 2013.
Tamim and Imrul had put on an opening stand of 224 during Bangladesh�s previous Test � against Zimbabwe in Chittagong � and carried on in the same manner today.
Fears that Bangladesh may struggle to bat out two days to save the match, after Pakistan ran up 628 in their first innings, proved unfounded as the openers settled in to tame the bowling.
Bangladesh 1st innings: 332
Pakistan 1st innings (overnight 537 for 5): Hafeez c Mahmudullah b Shuvagata 224, Sami c Rahim b Taijul 20, Azhar b Shuvagata 83, Younis b Taijul 33, Misbahc Rubel b Taijul 59, Shafiq c&b Shakib 83, Sarfraz c sub (Das) b Shahid 82, Riaz b Taijul 0, Yasir lbw b Taijul 13, Babar st Mahmudullah b Taijul 11, Junaid not out 0. Extras: (B-5, LB-8, W-3, NB-4) 20. Total: (all out; 168.4 overs) 628. Fall of wickets: 1-50, 2-277, 3-339, 4-402, 5-468, 6-594, 7-595, 8-617, 9-617. Bowling: Rubel 22-3-82-0, Shahid 19-4-59-1, Taijul 46.4-4-163-6, Shuvagata 34-1-120-2, Shakib 37-4-146-1, Mahmudullah 4-0-30-0, Soumya 1-0-2-0, Mominul 5-0-13-0.
Bangladesh 2nd innings: Tamim not out 138, Kayes not out 132. Extras: (W-1, NB-2) 3. Total: (For no loss; 61 overs) 273. Bowling: Junaid 8-0-44-0, Zulfiqar 16-0-60-0, Hafeez 9-0-46-0, Wahab 13-2-57-0, Yasir 15-0-66-0.