Day three of Bangladesh-Pakistan Test in Dhaka washed out


The weather, however, promises to be better on the fourth and fifth days, with no rain forecast

Pakistan 188 for 2 (Babar 71*, Azhar 52, Taijul 2-49) vs Bangladesh

The third day of the Dhaka Test lived up to its very rainy forecast with a full day washout. The covers never came off the Shere Bangla National Stadium, and Bangladesh and Pakistan players didn’t come to the ground, as the country’s capital bore the brunt of a depression at the Bay of Bengal.

Play was called off at 2pm local time, a foregone conclusion, though it could have happened much earlier. Match officials usually cling on to the hope of rain relenting. Even in that case, it takes an hour to clear the water off the ground and the covers. None of that was required on Monday.

The last time a full day’s play was lost in a Test in Bangladesh was in July-August 2015, when South Africa toured the country.

Only 30 minutes of play was possible on the second day, when Pakistan resumed their first innings for just 6.2 overs. It was enough time for Azhar Ali to move from his overnight 39 to his 34th Test half-century and then to 52 not-out. Babar Azam struck a few boundaries to move to an unbeaten 71.

Babar started the day with an easy boundary off Khaled Ahmed, before Azhar brought up the 100-run stand. He then struck two fours off Ebadot Hossain to reach his fifty, off 126 balls. The pair have so far added 118 runs for the unbroken third-wicket stand.

Earlier on the first day, visitors made an unsurprisingly strong start, with Abid Ali and Abdullah Shafique adding 59 for the opening stand. It was Pakistan’s fourth successive 50-plus stand for the first wicket, equalling the same feat from 2002. Taijul Islam removed both Abid and Shafique, but Azhar and Babar remained solid.

The weather, however, promises to be better on the fourth and fifth days. There is no more rain in forecast, but it might take a while for the ground staff to rid of the excess water even when the sun comes out.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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