Bangladesh will be confident going into the second Test match against South Africa in Dhaka as draw looks inevitable after rain washed out the fourth day’s play in the first Test in Chittagong on Friday.
Unless a dramatic improvement of weather, which has a very slim chance, a full 90 overs of play on the fifth day is very unlikely meaning the game is now all but over for both the teams.
Match officials called off play at 1:25pm at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium where South African players did not even turn up knowing the outcome while some of the Bangladeshi players used the time only in the indoors.
‘It’s frustrating for the players,’ Bangladesh manager Khaled Mahmud told reporters on Friday.
‘It was a thrilling contest but due to rain this contest looks to be heading towards a draw,’ said Mahmud.
‘We played well in this Test match and we were ahead till yesterday but now due to rain both teams look to be evenly balanced.
‘With the look of the sky there might not be any play at all on tomorrow [today].’
South Africa, who made 248 in the first innings, bowled out Bangladesh for 326 and reached 61-0 in their second knock when bad light forced an early stumps with 24.5 overs left to be bowled on the third day.
Openers Stiaan van Zyl was unbeaten on 33 and Dean Elgar on 28 not out as the tourists trim Bangladesh’s first innings advantage of 17 runs by the end of third day’s play.
Though draw looks to be a natural outcome considering the weather it won’t be satisfying for the Tigers unlike many other occasions when they were are at the receiving end.
Bangladesh were firmly in the contest, putting up a brave show in all the three days to bowl out their illustrious opponents cheaply before posting their highest score against the side in nine Tests.
Their first innings also completed a circle for the Tigers who have now scored 300 runs against each Test playing country and batted over 100 overs against all at least once in Test matches.
The Tigers came out from their defensive-mind set of picking eight batsmen and took the field with four regular bowlers along with all-rounder Sakib al Hasan to challenge the opponents and they were quite successful in their strategy.
They followed their good work with the ball through some skillful batting display against one of the most feared bowling attacks in the world.
It gives an impression that they were not willing to surrender meekly against the illustrious names like pace trio Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander.
Statistically it will be their biggest achievement as they lost all eight of their previous Test matches against the Proteas. Seven of their defeats came by innings margin and other by five wickets.
‘We would certainly take the confidence into our next match,’ said Mahmud.
The second and final Test of the two-match series will be held in Dhaka from July 30 to August 3.
-With New Age input