Sports desk: Since Bangladesh surprisingly opted to bowl first in a pitch conducive to the batsman, the fate of the first Test was almost sealed. The only consolation was that they for the first time in South African soil avoided an innings defeat. But it was expected as Bangladesh was no longer a team to taste innings defeat unless they get a sheer bad day in the office.
But there was an opportunity to save the Test with rain in the forecast at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom after the lunch session. However Bangladesh didn’t give rain an opportunity to arrive as they were dismissed just hour after the fifth day’s game started. In this time, they added just 41 runs to their overnight total 49 for three to be wrapped up for 90, first time they got dismissed below hundred in a decade and thereby tasted a crushing 333-run defeat.
The nature of dismissal (trying to play the aggressive shot) once again brought the question to the fore when Bangladesh would get a proper Test batsman who could spend three sessions at least in the crease. There was opportunity because Morne Morkel was sidelined with side strain, there was opportunity because the pitch had no demon. Just what needed was one or two batsman stand there with stubbornness. But Bangladeshi batsman simply didn’t know how to draw a Test.
This wasn’t the first time that the team got the chance to show proper Test batting in a bid to draw the match. They missed the chance in New Zealand, in India and at their home soil too. When there needs to spend three sessions just to save the Test, they every time surprisingly come up with one-day style of cricket, digging their own graveyards.
“They have been evolving as a good one-day team but they need to understand the difference between Test and one-day cricket,” said former national cricketer Javed Omar Belim. “You shouldn’t play one-day shot in Test cricket, unless you are in hurry to accelerate the run rate. Here the pitch was in Bangladesh’s favour. They should need just block and block which could ensure of saving the Test.”
“If you can’t draw a Test, you can’t win a Test match. The batsman should instill the belief inside them that they could block everything on their way. But unfortunately none of our batsman could block,” Javed further said.
There was toss blunder that would be discussed for long, for sure. But Bangladeshi batsmen still have the chance to score a big. They for the first time posted a 300 plus total at South African soil in Test cricket but what was frustrating was that only two batsmen got half-century. However on the other hand, 90 all out was Bangladesh’s ninth below 100 total and lowest against South Africa. Earlier, their lowest total against South Africa was 107 at this very ground in 2002.
But yet again in the first innings, most of the batsmen paid the price of employing attacking mindset. According to Mushfiqur Rahim, the deficit in the first innings cost them the match.
“I did not know the wicket would be this flat. I thought the batsmen did not go big in the first innings that cost us. I can’t remember the last time we were bowled out under 100. It was really disappointing. Probably, we will come up with good plans in the next Test match. Mominul and Mahmudullah were the positives. Mominul and Mustafiz also bowled well in the second innings. We need to be mentally tough and that is an area we need to improve,” Mushfiqur said during the presentation ceremony.
Mushfiqur might show the reason of first innings deficit but deep inside surely he knows if Bangladesh don’t get a batsman to grind out a day at least, they won’t save or win any Test match apart from their own designed wicket at home.