Mirpur: Azhar Ali completed a maiden double-hundred and Asad Shafiq skipped to a Test ton of his own, as Pakistan hastened to 557 for 8 in the afternoon, then declared their innings closed during the tea break. Both men lost their wickets in pursuit of straight sixes after they had struck 207 runs in each other's company. Azhar finished with 226 and Shafiq was out for 107. The clatter of lower-order wickets toward the end of the second session bore no real impact on the match.

Azhar advanced to slam Shakib Al Hasan over long-on in the second over of the post-lunch session to herald a more hectic stretch, where both batsmen regularly sped down the pitch with the boundary in their sights. Mushfiqur Rahim was perhaps guilty of under-bowling Mohammad Shahid, who had been miserly in his first day-two spell, while his spinners were deftly manoeuvred. Soumya Sarkar's gentle seam bowling was tried out, but his errors in length were punished, and he did not last long at the bowling crease.

The scoring slowed as Azhar neared his double-century, Bangladesh stitching together a ring field the batsman found difficult to penetrate in the 190s. Taijul Islam almost had the batsman on 199, when he spun a ball past a nervous prod and missed the edge of both bat and off stump by centimetres. Next over, Azhar resolved to force the matter. He ran at Shakib to hit him into the sight screen, sparking a joyful celebration.

Shafiq was on 92 when Azhar reached that milestone, but Shafiq's completion of a sixth Test hundred was more humdrum. He slammed Taijul to the deep midwicket fence to move to 98, then worked two more singles in the same over to become Pakistan's third centurion of the innings.

Azhar struck one more straight six - this time off the pace of Shahid - but was out attempting to repeat that result off Shuvagata Hom. By now Bangladesh had posted men on the fence, and Mahmudullah snaffled Azhar, running in from long-off.

Shafiq survived an lbw review from Bangladesh on 104, but would follow Azhar to the pavilion not long after. He was also undone by the Shuvagata-Mahmudullah combination, as the ball collected only the toe-end of the bat, when he aimed a six into the sight screen.

With the score well into the 500s, Pakistan's lower order slogged upon arrival at the crease. The ploy didn't work for Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah, who were out for 4 and 0 respectively, but Sarfraz Ahmed had moved to a run-a-ball 21 when the umpires called tea.

Misbah-ul-Haq had been cleverly dismissed by Shakib without a run being added to Pakistan's overnight score, and Azhar and Shafiq had progressed cautiously in the early overs of the day. Their ambition grew once Shahid's first spell ended, and were scoring freely off the spinners by lunch. Shafiq was especially brisk, making regular trips down the pitch, while Azhar was content to work his way toward his double-ton.

Courtesy: ESPN