Sunday, June 16, 2024

Toothless Tigers exposed, again

Two days of Test cricket exposed the inefficiency of Bangladeshi bowlers in overseas conditions once again as they failed to make an impact in the ongoing first Test against South Africa at Potchefstroom.
The hosts made the mockery of Bangladesh’s bowling to score 496-3 before they declared their first innings at the end of the second session on the second day at Senwes Park.Bangladesh fielded three genuine pacers in Mustafizur Rahman, Shafiul Islam, and Taskin Ahmed as well as an off-spinner Mehedi Hasan but none could produce a spell that would trouble the South African batsmen.
In the absence of Sakib al Hasan, Bangladesh’s’ leading wicket-taker in Test who took five or more wickets in back-to-back Test against South Africa on the previous tour, the visiting bowlers had to struggle all the way as they lacked the bite and rhythm- the two most common traits of a successful bowling unit.
The lack of experience also came as a major hindrance for Bangladeshi bowlers to show some consistency, something that the team had been craving for years away from the home.
As a result they had to wait for five sessions before they got their first success in the game when Shahiful Islam dismissed Hashim Amla for 137 runs in the first over after the lunch break.
With Bangladesh’s maiden wicket on the opening day being a run out they had to bowl 117.3 overs to see any of their bowlers getting some kind of success, which is a world record.
Agonisingly, the Tigers only broke their own record of taking the highest number of deliveries to pick the first wicket by a bowler.
In 2008, Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie frustrated Bangladesh till 94.3 overs adding a record 415-run in the opening stand before left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak broke the massive partnership by taking Smith’s wicket.
The Tigers could never have imagined they would face a similar situation against the same team nine years later.
Shafiul, Taskin Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman bowled 25, 26, 27 overs respectively in the first innings but could manage only two wickets among them, the only two success Bangladesh bowlers could provide in the first innings.
The only spinner Mehedi Hasan, who performed consistently in home conditions remained wicketless after bowling 56 overs, the highest number of overs he bowled in a Test innings in his fledgling career.
He might also want to forget a disreputable record as no Bangladeshi bowler remained wicketless after bowling so many overs in an innings.
Veteran left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique bowled maximum 59.1 overs for the Tigers against New Zealand in Dhaka back in 2004, but he was the most successful bowler for the Tigers claiming 6-122 in that innings.
Such vague records just showcased the Tiger bowlers’ wretchedness in the first innings, which might lead them now to a massive defeat in the first Test.

-With New Age input

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