It wasn’t a bad day in the office for Bangladesh, it was actually a nightmare.
Bangladesh certainly looked out of sorts as West Indies dominated the second day of the ongoing second Test match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka to gain an upper hand. Trailing by 304 and needing another 104 to avoid the embarrassment of a follow on, the hosts were reeling at 105 for 4 at the close of play with Mushfiqur Rahim unbeaten on 27 and Mohammad Mithun making six not out.
Bangladesh’s top-order crumbled without showing any kind of resistance as they opted to counterattack after dismissing West Indies for 409 runs in the first innings. Openers Soumya Sarkar and Nazmul Hossain paid the price for their impatience, wanting to hit out from the word go on a wicket that hardly had much to offer to the bowlers. Tamim Iqbal and Mominul Haque tried to dominate, too, but they also paid the price of losing their concentration against the discipline shown by West Indies’ bowlers.
With nearly half their batsmen back in the hut, Bangladesh now will be tested for Test match skills and temperament when the proceedings resume on the third morning and Tamim feels the tone of the day, perhaps the game, will be decided by what goes down in the opening session on Saturday.
“The wicket did not behave in such a way that we need to worry,” the Bangladesh opener said after the second day’s play. “The most important thing is the first session tomorrow. We cannot [afford to] lose wickets at that point of time because we don’t have too many batsmen left. A lot will depend on this partnership,” he said.
Tamim felt the batsmen should take the blame for their insipid show on Friday. “Certainly we gifted our wickets [away]. Naturally the wicket was extremely good to bat on and when we were batting there was nothing happening as such [to cause trouble to the batsmen].
“All four wickets that have fallen was not due to good balls; because if you see all four batsmen made errors. If we were two wickets [down] then we would have been in a comfortable position [still]. But as we lost four wickets and they certainly are on top.”
Tamim, however, defended himself for his aggressive play, where he made a quick 44 off 52 balls with six fours and a six. The 31-year-old said it would have backfired if they had tried to play too defensive.
“I think I played a bit aggressively but apart from me, no one was batting with the same mindset. I think my intent was good and apart from the delivery through which I got out, there was hardly any bad shot that I played. I felt that I should hit the ball that is there to hit because batting too defensively would hardly be helpful. If you don’t get out playing rash shots then it is alright but unfortunately I got out to a delivery that should have been kept out.”
While batsmen surrendered meekly, Bangladesh spinners failed to dominate as the West Indian batsmen played them with ease and only lost wickets when they tried to accelerate after lunch. The below-par performance of the spinners raised questions over whether the hosts were one pacer short, but Tamim felt the decision to play the spinners backfired because the wickets did not offer them much to work with.
“It is not rocket science, as when the home-team picks three spinners in the playing eleven, it is evident that we expected the wicket to spin a lot more, but unfortunately it didn’t. This tactic appeared fruitful when we had faced the West Indies before, but it didn’t seem to work this time around,” he concluded.
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