Pakistan pacer Naseem Shah, center without cap, celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Bangladesh batsman Mahmudullah during the third day of their 1st test cricket match at Rawalpindi cricket stadium in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
Pakistan pacer Naseem Shah, center without cap, celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Bangladesh batsman Mahmudullah during the third day of their 1st test cricket match at Rawalpindi cricket stadium in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

The ‘special talent’ who has created Test history

Teenage paceman Naseem Shah became the youngest player to record a Test hat-trick as Pakistan closed in on victory against Bangladesh in Rawalpindi.

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

Aged 16 years and 359 days, he becomes the youngest player to record a Test hat-trick, besting Bangladeshi Alok Kapali who achieved the feat aged 19 in 2003.

 

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Naseem trapped Najmul Hossain Shanto 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 had figures of 4-26 before he left the field with a shoulder injury. Shanto and Mominul Haque, unbeaten on 37 at the close, had added 71 for the third wicket after they lost Saif Hassan on 16 and Tamim Iqbal on 34.

At the close, Bangladesh were 6-126 and needing another 86 runs to avoid an innings defeat with two days to play.

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 that feat at 16 years and 307 days against Sri Lanka in Karachi last year.

Naseem Shah is the toast of Pakistan after his hat-trick heroics.
Naseem Shah is the toast of Pakistan after his hat-trick heroics.

 

"I wanted to do something that people remember about me and this is a special achievement for which I thank (the) Almighty," Naseem said.

"I can't describe my feelings and the way (the) crowd (was) backing me up can't be described in words."

Pakistan's Babar Azam, who scored 143 in the first innings of the Rawalpindi Test, praised Naseem.

"There is no doubt he is a special talent," said Azam.

"It's an outstanding achievement at this very young age and the best thing about him is that he bowls to the plan given to him."

Pakistan were bowled out for 445 in their first innings.

Saif, playing his first Test, was on a pair after his second-ball duck in the first innings but he started confidently to reach 16 with four boundaries before he was bowled by Naseem.

Iqbal, fresh from scoring the highest first-class score on Bangladeshi soil of 334 not out last week, was trapped leg-before by Yasir.


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