Bowling in tandem sharpens Tigers

Bangladesh will go into the second Test match against South Africa looking to capitalise on their confidence given by their bowlers who bowled in tandem to put them in a comfortable position in the series opener in Chittagong. Bangladesh were forced to remain content with a draw after rain washed out the last two days of the match that they dominated first with the ball and then with the bat.
The Tigers surprised the visitors by bowling them out for 248 runs in their first innings that was most pleasing for the side which had struggled with their Test bowling in the recent past.
Debutant Mustafizur Rahman injected a fresh blood in their attack picking 4-37 and leg-spinner Jubair Hossain complemented with three scalps to remove the tail.
Mohammad Shahid, among the six bowlers used the only one not to get a wicket, also made his contribution by bowling 51 successive dot balls that created pressure on the opponents.
When head coach Chandika Hathurusinghe announced prior to the Test match that his charges are capable of picking 20 South Africa wickets it raised a suspicion, but the Tigers forced the doubters to eat a humble pie with their collective efforts.
They got the 10 wickets on a first day track and could have done the same on the fourth day only had rain not stood in their way.
For bowling coach Heath Streak it was the pleasing part of the Test match and he is confident similar efforts won’t be far fetched in the coming days.
‘I think bowling in partnership was the key to our success,’ Streak told New Age on Sunday.
‘It was an area that we emphasised and being able to execute our plans was really pleasant to watch from the boundary line.
‘I think we managed to do that [bowling in partnership] quite well in the first innings and as a result could book them in less than 250 runs [248].
‘We have variety in our bowling attack and probably that is the reason we are confident that we can pick 20 wickets.’
Streak said that knowing when to attack and when to defend is crucial in Test matches where things keep changing through every session and not always go to the way of one team all the time.
‘Test cricket bowling is all about knowing when to attack and put pressure on the opponents and when just put your focus on doing things so that they don’t take the game away from you,’ said Streak.
For him one of the best parts of the match was the performance of unsung hero Shahid, who went wicketless but did not concede a single run between lunch and tea break on the opening day to leave South Africa frustrated.
‘He created the pressure and others reaped the success,’ said Streak. ‘He was really unlucky not to have wickets in his tally. It really was a superb bowling effort by Shahid that pushed the South African on the back foot.
‘I think he understood his role perfectly and did not focus on trying anything else.
‘That was the beauty of his bowling because often when you don’t pick wickets you tend to lose your head,’ said Streak.
Shahid added that he would have cherished if those missed catches were taken but he is not utterly dejected given he played his part to help the Tigers get their first draw against the Proteas.
‘I won’t say that I was unlucky but if the catches were taken my bowling spell could have looked better,’ Shahid told New Age on Sunday as the team returned to Dhaka.
‘I was concentrating on bowling on the same line as that was the plan,’
‘I was told that if I can manage to bowl on the same area it will be difficult for them and even if you don’t pick wickets you still will be helping the team.
‘I am happy to be able to do that and work as per plans,’ said Shahid.

-With New Age input

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