Sports desk: An innings defeat was on the cards following their listless batting performance in the first innings but Bangladesh were expected to show some fighting spirit before being whitewashed in the Test series against South Africa. However the fighting spirit or the determination was nowhere seen as Bangladesh lost the second and final Test by an innings and 254 runs inside three days in Bloemfontein yesterday. Bangladesh so far played six Test matches in South Africa, of which they suffered innings defeat in five matches and the rest by a huge margin over 300 runs.
South Africa plan was simple: unsettle the batsman with a barrage of bouncers which they did consistently. But Bangladeshi batsmen appeared to lack of plan as to how they would deal with the short deliveries that came up at their rib cage. In fact, from the beginning of the series, Bangladesh knew South African bowlers would welcome them with a shower of bouncers. However no plan was made. The wicket of Bloemfontein had no demons like the one in Potchefstroom. It is indeed easy wicket to bat if any batsman could survive some overs and got his eye in. But surviving seemed to be a tougher job of the world for the Bangladesh batsmen. And again the basics of Test cricket came to the fore.
Kagiso Rabada made the carnage once again and in the process completed his 100-wicket haul in only 22 Tests. Rabada and Mustafizur Rahman played the Under-19 World Cup in 2014 and both made senior side debut in 2015. But while Rabada established him one of the best fast bowlers in the world within just two years, Mustafizur Rahman, rated always higher than Rabada, still is finding his feet in the longer version format.
Rabada followed up his five for 33 with five for 30 in the second innings to scythe down Bangladesh in a pitch where Mustafizur Rahman and company struggled to make an impact. It was Rabada’s third 10-for in his 22 Test matches career. Rabada didn’t do so many
things actually, he just hit the length consistently and showered bouncers with good pace, knowing that impatient Bangladesh batsman would do the rest. And he was right in his assessment.
Bangladesh batsmen had no patience and truth to say had no intention to occupy the pitch. They were completely panicked by the bouncers of Rabada and other bowlers in the first innings and it seemed the panic gripped them so much so that they wanted the game to be ended as early as possible.
In an eventful Test series, where toss blunder in both Tests was a matter of discussion, Mushfiqur Rahim finally gave it new dimension by criticising the team management and the bowlers which indicated all is not well in the Bangladesh’s dressing room.
However Mushfiqur himself took the onus of showing some fighting spirit despite a blow to his head. Although he looked shaken by the incident, he had batted on for another 40 minutes despite initial advice that he should be assessed. Mushfiqur was on 11 when ducked into a bouncer from Duanne Olivier in the 14th over of the innings and was hit on the left side of his helmet. He did not go to ground immediately but walked to the leg side, sat on his knees and then hunched over. He was surrounded by the South African team and attended to by Bangladesh management. However after being dismissed, he was taken to the hospital.
But the intent Mushfiqur showed couldn’t appear to give other batsmen any message. They perhaps didn’t believe that they would stretch the Test for another day. And so the Test actually lasted for just two and half days. Bangladesh were all out for 172 in the second innings in just one and half session like the first innings in which they were wrapped up for 147.