Sport Cricket Pakistan’s Naseem Shah becomes youngest player to take Test hat-trick
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Pakistan’s Naseem Shah becomes youngest player to take Test hat-trick

Pakistan's 16-year-old debutant Naseem Shah has taken 4-26 against Bangladesh to become the youngest ever bowler to take a Test hat-trick. Photo: AP
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Teenage quick Naseem Shah has become the youngest bowler to take a hat-trick in Test cricket, putting Pakistan on the cusp of victory in the first Test against Bangladesh.

The 16-year-old fast bowler, who took 4-26, dismissed Najmul Hossain Shanto (38), nightwatchman Taijul Islam (0) and Mahmudullah (0) as Bangladesh limped to 6-126 in their second innings at stumps on the third day on Sunday.

Bangladesh still trail by 86 with only four wickets in hand to avoid an innings defeat. Pakistan was dismissed for 445 in its first innings for a lead of 212 runs over Bangladesh’s first-innings 233.

“I can’t describe my feelings because the way the whole crowd backed me; it was really heartening,” Naseem said about the 12,000 spectators cheering on the home team at Pindi Cricket Stadium.

“I think what I did today was just because my mother prays for me a lot. I did struggle in the first innings, but I knew I can perform if I bowled according to the plan.”

Naseem, playing in only his fourth Test match, dented Bangladeshi hopes of making a comeback in the last half-hour when he broke the threatening 71-run stand between Najmul and captain Mominul Haque, who was unbeaten on 37 at stumps.

He then went for a successful lbw referral against Najmul after umpire Nigel Llong turned down an appeal. He then immediately trapped Taijul lbw off a vicious yorker before Mahmudullah went for an ambitious drive and was caught in the second slip.

“I didn’t appeal when I took the second wicket and ran away to celebrate because I knew it was plumb out,” Naseem said about Taijul’s dismissal.

Naseem went off the field in the next over after bowling two balls in his eighth over due to rib pain and did not take the field but by that time he had done enough damage to Bangladesh’s plans.

Bangladesh leg-spinner Alok Kapali held the previous record of the youngest player to achieve a hat trick in test cricket when he accomplished the feat at the age of 19 against Pakistan at Peshawar in 2003.

“It was an outstanding second spell by Naseem … and I really enjoyed watching him bowling in the field,” Pakistan batsman Babar Azam said.

“The best thing about Naseem is that he bowls according to the plan and he’s learning fast.”

Naseem’s was the 45th Test hat-trick and the first by a Pakistan player since Mohammad Sami against Sri Lanka in 2002.

-with agencies