Taijul Islam put up a superb show of spin bowling to haul Bangladesh into the Test earlier in the third day in Chattogram, but Shaheen Shah Afridi then ran through the hosts' top order as Pakistan shared the spoils in the third session.
Taijul’s foray allowed Pakistan to add 141 to their overnight score of 145, losing all 10 of their wickets for 286 in their first innings as the southpaw returned 7 for 116 and earned the Tigers a 44-run lead at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on Sunday.
Afridi (3-6) then retaliated and made the contest even, becoming the highest Test wicket-taker of the year with 42 wickets in the process, as Bangladesh slumped to 39 for four at stumps with an overall lead of 83 in their second innings.
After struggling through two wicketless sessions the previous day, it was Pakistan’s turn to suffer through a morning session as Taijul blitzed the top order by trapping the first three in front.
It took Taijul five balls to make a breakthrough when he rectified a missed opportunity from Day 2 by skidding one through onto the pad of Abdullah Shafique (52) before taking out Azhar Ali first ball to make it two in two.
With his spin partner Mehidy Hasan Miraz (1-68) making short work of uncomfortable-looking skipper Babar Azam (10), Taijul sent Fawad Alam (8) packing with a ripper.
Seamer Ebadot Hossain (2-47) ended the efforts of an unconvincing Mohammad Rizwan (5), reports bdnews24.com.
Opener Abid Ali, who had earlier turned his overnight 91 into three-digits with a flick through midwicket, missed another flick off Taijul and got hit in front to depart after racking up 133 runs of Pakistan’s then total of 217.
Hasan Ali (12) perished after smashing a boundary and a six, putting Pakistan in risk of giving Bangladesh a big lead. But Faheem Ashraf (38) reduced the deficit.
Bangladesh, however, kept chipping away and Taijul picked out Ashraf to wrap up the innings and give Bangladesh a whole session to bat.
Pakistan, however, roared back by putting up an aggressive show of fast bowling and ensured the match remained evenly poised.
The 21-year-old Afridi trapped Shadman Islam (1) in front for his first wicket before earning Nazmul Hossain Shanto’s scalp for a duck in his next over. Mominul Huq walked back skying Hasan Ali in the following over, registering another duck.
Afridi then went for bouncers and Saif Hassan (18) fended one of them off straight back to the bowler. Bangladesh opted to send in nightwatchman Yasir Ali (8) who will resume the fourth day with Mushfiqur Rahim (12).