Khulna, Bangladesh: Opener Mohammad Hafeez hit a career-best 224 as Pakistan piled up 537-5 against Bangladesh at stumps on the third day of the first cricket test on Thursday.
Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Khan were not out on 51 each, steering Pakistan's lead to 205. Bangladesh was bowled out for 332 in its first innings.
Azhar Ali scored 83, while captain Misbah-ul-Haq hit 59 on a day when the visitors made Bangladesh toil on an unthreatening pitch.
Left arm spinner Taijul Islam was the most successful bowler for Bangladesh with 3-116, and offspinner Shuvagata Hom returned figures of 2-112.
Hafeez achieved his maiden double century after coming so close in his previous test against New Zealand last November, when he made 197.
"This is not really a best (century), but you can say one of the best ones I can remember," Hafeez said. "A double hundred is always something which is special for any batsman in the world."
Hafeez brought up his eighth century on Wednesday, and started the day on 137. He made it to lunch on 190.
He reached his 200 off 286 balls, and finally finished with 23 fours and three sixes in his 332-ball knock. He was dismissed by Hom while trying a sweep.
"I was under pressure after the ODI series, and I knew I had to do something to regain my confidence and I tried hard," Hafeez said. "There was a demand for the team to play a positive inning, and I am happy that I am able to do my best for my team."
Hafeez shared three significant partnerships to establish Pakistan's dominance, adding 227 with Azhar, 62 with Younis Khan, and 63 with Misbah.
"We applied a couple of things that worked for us, and now we are in a situation that we can further press them," Hafeez said. "I am not sure what the bigger plan is for tomorrow but obviously we would want to have at least 300 so that we can have enough time to bowl them out."
Azhar hit four fours and one six before he became Hom's first victim.
Younis Khan made 33 and looked set for a big innings until playing a lazy shot against Taijul.
Captain Misbah showed an urgency to increase the run rate, striking four fours and two sixes before being dismissed sweeping against Taijul.
While Sarfraz picked up his fifth test half-century in quick fashion — hitting four fours and two sixes off just 53 balls — Shafiq earned his 11th 50 off 98 balls.
Pakistan got 50-plus partnerships in every stand, piling the misery on Bangladesh whose bowlers often pitched deliveries too short.