Tigers impress in rain-affected SA Test series | The Daily Star
01:04 PM, August 03, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:23 PM, August 03, 2015

Bangladesh impress in rain-affected South Africa Test series

With only three days of play possible in the first Test against South Africa at Chittagong, and just a single day in the second match at Mirpur, cyclone ‘Komen’ and the seasonal downpour dominated the headlines for obvious reasons.

Yet it was not all doom and gloom for Bangladesh, especially the spirited performance from their bowlers sent the right signals in an otherwise disappointing Test series against the top-ranked team in the world.

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In the first Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium, Bangladesh bowled out a higher-ranked opponent under 300 for the first time in nearly three years.

Tigers skipper Mushfiqur Rahim was pleasantly surprised by the discipline shown by his opening bowler Mohammad Shahid, and appreciated Mustafizur Rahman’s ability to adapt to the longest format of cricket quite quickly.

Shahid delivered 50 dot balls in a row from his sixth to his 14th over on the first day, a spell that tightened the screws on the Proteas. Unfortunately for the pacer, he went wicketless as two relatively straight-forward catches were dropped in the slips off his bowling.

Shahid gave away only 34 runs in 17 overs, with nine maidens to show for his lion-hearted effort on a docile pitch at Chittagong.

Captain Mushfiqur felt his hard work deserved better reward.

"I was definitely surprised [by the seven maidens]. I haven't seen many bowlers in the world bowl like that on such a flat wicket.” Mushfiq told ESPNcricinfo.

Bangladesh’s bowling attack looked more potent with the inclusion of the in-form left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman.

He took three wickets in four balls - Hashim Amla, JP Duminy and Quinton de Kock  and turned the match on its head in a matter of minutes.

Mustafizur was named the Man of the Match in the 1st Test and became the first cricketer in history to win that award on both Test and ODI debut.

In his debut Test, Mustafizur grabbed four wickets for 37 runs in 17.4 exciting overs.

Bangladesh's batting in the first innings of the 1st Test would have also soothed some nerves in the dressing room, mainly because of the timely maturity shown by Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan.

Both of them worked through difficult circumstances on the second and third day, offering the full face of the bat for most deliveries. Tamim managed 57 while Shakib missed his first fifty against South Africa by three runs.

With Mahmudullah’s knock of 67 and Litton Das debut fifty, Bangladesh’s scorecard looked impressive, but all the set batsmen missed the chance to score a hundred.

In the 2nd Test at Mirpur, Bangladesh won the toss and batted first. After early jitters, the middle-order steadied the innings, but Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque and Mahmudullah were all dismissed against the run of play.

Mushfiqur Rahim became the first Bangladesh captain to score a fifty against South Africa with his knock of 65, but his team lost four wickets for 31 runs in the last hour to end the first day at 246/8 in 88.1 overs.

The recurring problem of batsmen throwing their wickets away after getting their eyes in will not please Tigers head coach Chandika Hathurusinghe.

Even Shakib Al Hasan expressed his frustration over the batsmen's failure to convert their good start into a big knocks.

“Well if you see our scorecard, there are five six guys who got starts. Someone needed to score big runs and that didn't happen and that is the frustrating part.”

“On the other side, everyone is contributing that's a good sign, but we would love to see more people get hundreds, and whenever they get a hundred we need to make sure of getting a big one,” he said while talking to GTV, the broadcaster of the series.

Bangladesh fans hope Tamim and co will not repeat the same mistakes against Australia, scheduled to play two Tests, from October 9 to 13 in Chittagong and October 17 to 21 in Dhaka.

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