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Naseem Shah’s hat-trick nudges Pakistan closer to win over Bangladesh

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NP newsroom

RAWALPINDI: Teenage pacer Naseem Shah became the youngest player to record a Test hat-trick as Pakistan edged closer to victory against Bangladesh in Rawalpindi on Sunday.

Just when Bangladesh seemed to have fought their way back into the match at 124-2 minutes before the close on the third day, Naseem destroyed them with three wickets off successive deliveries.

Six days shy of 17 years, he becomes the youngest player to record a Test hat trick, beating Bangladeshi Alok Kapali who did this aged 19 in 2003.

Naseem got Najumul Hossain Shanto with a Leg Before off the fourth ball of his seventh over for 38, then followed up with dismissals of Taijul Islam (lbw) and Mahmudullah (caught) with the next two deliveries.

Naseem, who burst onto the scene on Pakistan’s Australia tour last year, is also the youngest fast bowler and second bowler overall to take five wickets in a Test innings. He achieved this feat at 16 years and 307 days against Sri Lanka in Karachi last year.

Last man Naseem was run out to end PakistanĀ“s first innings.

A 10,000-strong holiday crowd was at the stadium in anticipation of popular batsman Babar Azam scoring a double hundred, but Pakistan lost Azam to the first ball of the day. Azam seemed of two minds whether to play or leave a delivery from pace bowler Abu Jayed.

Azam’s 143 was his fifth Test hundred and a masterclass of attractive batting, which included a six and 18 fours.

Asad Shafiq, who put on 137 for the fourth wicket with Azam, added just five to his overnight score before he was caught behind off fast bowler Ebadot Hossain for a 65 that included nine boundaries.

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