At stumps, Bangladesh are 81 for 3. On such a batting friendly wicket this scoreboard is not only surprising but also quite embarrassing for the home team….
“We have a pretty good chance to win the Test. It is a pretty good wicket. It is all turning from the rough, and outside the stumps. We are hoping to start the day well. We are bowling in good areas, line and length”.
That’s what Niroshan Dickwella, the confident and charming wicketkeeper of Sri Lanka said after the end of fourth day of first Test between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at Chittagong. In fact, neither I nor the followers of Bangladesh cricket expected such statement on Day 4 as because, on such a batting friendly wicket. Bangladesh have been vocal about wickets of their own wish and they have been provided with a track where one can only witness the bowlers get punished.
But still, when the scoreboard reads 81 for 3 with two in-form batsmen back in the hut, it ultimately raises doubts about the temperament of the team. Whether they are capable enough to handle the pressure of gargantuan scores or not remains a moot question. In fact, Bangladesh did exhibit the stomach to handle scoreboard pressure in the past, but they met a sorry end. Ultimately, their poor display in second innings made them rue time and again.
The prophets of doom and gloom seem to have started to haunt the Tigers again on their wishful track. The situation of first Test is such, the result might not be in favour of home team if they fail to handle the pressure.
Dickwell said, the Chittagong track is still very good and the ball is turning from the rough and outside off. On a fourth day wicket, such sort of behaviors are normal, but the wicket is still very good to bat on – just one or two deliveries turning from the rough does not mean, the wicket has transformed into a tricky one. A batting team must cash in from word go by exhibiting a positive frame of mind. The execution of poor shots deserves no mercy on this track.
Sri Lanka declared after taking a lead of 200 runs and what Bangladesh needed was to finish the day in a commendable fashion. Just before the drinks break, the Tamim-Kayes pair stitched a 50-run stand with ease, but as soon as the game commenced after break, Imrul Kayes went for a ramp-shot against Dilruwan Perera, who already beat Kayes outside off several times. Kayes ended up taking his eyes off the ball as the ball hit the toe –end and the square leg fielder took the catch.
Just before the delivery, the gully fielder was brought to short leg and despite watching the field change, Kayes executed a ramp-shot out of nowhere.
Perera’s delivery was not threatening, but Kayes threw his wicket away.
Sandakan was bowling quick, a matter which is a must on this. Still, Tamim Iqbal was handling him smartly, but against a Sandakan-skidder, which pitched way from his body, Tamim attempted a forward push way outside offstump edged to Dickwella.
The best way is to leave such skidders, but Tamim thought he was playing a 50-over match.
Is the wicket helping the spinners or batsmen are not putting a price tag on their wicket?
The visitors had witnessed Perera and Sandakan fetch wickets, but their heart would not be filled with joy if the wily customer Rangana Herath had not yet joined the party. In the fifth ball of final over, Herath gifted his team Dickwella to give such a statement as Mushfiqur Rahim was dismissed. The fielder at silly point took the catch and Bangladesh ended the day in a position of losing the match.
Dickwella statement about ball turning from rough and outside off should be taken to note. Yesterday, an area on the back of a length in and around offstump gave evidence of uneven bounce and a puff of dust was seen coming out from that area. On such dead wickets, a bowler and the think tank of team need to notice such things as utilizing such areas are the only mean to grab wickets.
Bangladesh think-tank kept sleeping while the Sri Lankan think tank run by maestro Chandika Hathurusingha not only noticed it but utilizing it intelligently.
Bangladesh need to be careful about the rough area and play in a positive frame of mind on final day. It would be quite embarrassing if they lose on this dead wicket due to poor temperament and lacklustre stroke-play.