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Pakistan ease to series sweep

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Nasir Hossain

Nasir Hossain holds up Pakistan during a stand of 117 with Mushfiqur Rahim, but Bangladesh lost their last five wickets for 22 runs at Mirpur

Pakistan completed a 2-0 victory over hosts Bangladesh with an ultimately comfortable seven-wicket win at Mirpur.

A sixth-wicket stand of 117 between Nasir Hossain and Mushfiqur Rahim gave the Tigers hope of a draw, but they then lost their last five wickets for 22 runs.

That left the tourists chasing 107 in more than a session, with only the prospect of bad light likely to stand in their way. They overhauled that inside 21 overs to finish 2011 on a high.

Their next assignment is versus England in a three-Test rubber, starting at Dubai on January 17. It looks to be a fascinating contest with Pakistan not having lost a Test series since the sides last met in the summer of 2010.

Nasir and Mushfiqur, on 30 and seven respectively overnight, denied Pakistan during another fog-delayed morning that began with Bangladesh trailing by 18.

Nasir picked up two consecutive streaky fours through the slip region off Aizaz Cheema but boundaries were otherwise few in the early stages.

Having gone to 50 with two to leg off Saeed Ajmal, the right-hander survived a run later when he edged Umar Gul to a diving Azhar Ali, who just got a hand to the ball.

The duo largely eschewed risk, aside from Nasir nicking Ajmal for four, and took lunch with 200 on the board.

Abdur Rehman made the crucial breakthrough six overs into the afternoon session, bowling Nasir through the gate for 79.

Mushfiqur swept Rehman for four to herald a half-century but, on 53, miscued the left-arm spinner to Ajmal at mid-off.

The tail predictably offered little resistance. Younus Khan held a stunning one-handed catch at slip off Rehman, who took a Test-best 4-51, to remove Shahadat Hossain before Ajmal bowled Elias Sunny with a doosra and had the charging Robiul Islam stumped.

Bangladesh’s vain task toughened when Mahmudullah could not hold a difficult chance to remove Mohammad Hafeez off Shakib Al Hasan, who was man of the match for his first-innings century and six wickets.

However, they did break through before tea, Taufeeq Umar following 24 dot balls by miscuing Nazmul Hossain to Nazimuddin at midwicket.

Having reached the break on 37 without further loss, Hafeez and Azhar pushed on although the former fell for 47 when he picked out Shahadat at long-on off Shakib.

With the gloom growing, Azhar and Younus upped the ante – the latter slogging Shakib for a maximum. Azhar was bowled by Sunny attempting to end proceedings with a straight six but, two balls later, captain Misbah-ul-Haq did just that.