The first Test at Chattogram between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka failed to produce a result, even though, at the start of Day 5, it seemed that Bangladesh might just set jitters in the Sri Lankan batting lineup and produce a result in favour for them. Well, the visitors held firm and neutralized the threat posed by the spinners of the home side.
— Bangladesh Cricket (@BCBtigers) May 18, 2022
Here are the 5 talking points from the first Test at Chattogram:
5. Impressive Shakib Al Hasan
Shakib Al Hasan tested positive for COVID-19 before the start of the first test and his inclusion in the team was in doubt -later on, he tested negative and had hardly any practice which would earn him the green signal to play in Chattogram. He featured in the first XI that surprised many – but when captain Mominul Haque threw the ball to Shakib, he proved what sort of a champion he is!
Shakib Al Hasan Descover a new delivery and new ball – Wrist spin. pic.twitter.com/KkvwWJ6nKE
— CricketMAN2 (@ImTanujSingh) May 16, 2022
His accuracy, variation, and the attempted innovation to try the Chinaman, had Sri Lanka under pressure – created the platform for Nayeem Hasan to fetch wickets and provided Taijul Islam ample support on Day 5. For a cricketer whose inclusion was in doubt due to lack of enough match practice, such performance only indicates the class and temperament of Shakib.
4. Mushfiqur Rahim joins the 5000 club
Back in the summer of 2005, Bangladesh coach Dave Whatmore took the risk of unleashing a young lad named Mushfiqur Rahim. During that time, he featured as a wicketkeeper and as the time progressed, he became the lynchpin of Bangladesh’s batting lineup.
— Bangladesh Cricket (@BCBtigers) May 18, 2022
In Chattogram, he became the first-ever Bangladeshi batter to score 5000 Test runs. It was certainly a great achievement for a man whose emotional exhibitions and rush of blood received heavy criticism during the crunch moments. The little man’s dedication has paid off and it is expected he will enrich his Test record in the coming days.
3. Tamim Iqbal shines with the bat
If the openers start to shine and score big; automatically, the health of the batting side improves, and at Chattogram, Tamim Iqbal followed just what the doctors ordered. He did not step back from playing his natural game and scored runs thick and fast that had the Lankan bowlers on the backfoot.
— Bangladesh Cricket (@BCBtigers) May 17, 2022
There were crispy strokes all around the ground, especially on the offside and square of the wicket. The heat took its toll on Tamim, otherwise, he would have gone on to score more.
2. Sri Lanka’s fighting effort with the bat
Sri Lanka came under pressure on Day 1 and the batting lineup required someone to stand tall and guide them through the choppy waters.
Angelo Mathews decided to lead from the front and started stitching crucial partnerships with others so that the momentum did not take a setback.
He added 92 runs in a third-wicket stand with Kusal Mendis, 136 runs for the fifth-wicket with Dinesh Chandimal, and 47 valuable runs for the ninth-wicket with Vishwa Fernando.
Ultimately, he was out for 199!
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) May 16, 2022
In the second innings, he was out for naught but his colleagues emulated his patience and dug deep to steer the ship safely to the shore.
Sri Lanka lost six wickets for 161 with a slender lead – but Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella put a price tag on their wickets and scripted a partnership 99 runs for the seventh wicket and kept the Bangladeshi bowlers at bay for 203 deliveries.
The grit and determination shown in both innings should boost the morale of the side a lot and should help in Mirpur.
1. Impressive Sri Lankan pacers
The Chattogram deck was expected to aid the spinners more – the Bangladeshi spinners had a great outing where they extracted turn from the footmarks and got the flight working in favour of them, whereas the Sri Lankan spinners failed to achieve the same from the third and fourth-day deck where there was still enough for the spinners.
The Lankans experienced a setback after losing left-arm pacer Vishwa Fernando due to a concussion injury but his replacement, Kasun Rajitha, proved to be a blessing in disguise.
— Flashscore Cricket Commentators (@FlashCric) May 18, 2022
He returned to the team after a brief gap and made an immediate impact by bowling with enough discipline. His bowling was encouraging enough to inspire Asitha Fernando, who decided to bowl aggressively and pepper the Bangladeshi batter with short-pitch stuff.
With the sun becking down over the MA Azis Stadium and the spinners failing to achieve anything productive, Fernando ran with aggressive intent and sent down rip-snoters that had the Bangladeshi batters on the rope.
Rajitha and Fernando shared 7 wickets in between them.
Sri Lanka might be planning for a spin-oriented attack in Mirpur, but they need to rethink their pacers who impressed a lot at Chattogram and tested Bangladesh batters with accuracy, movement, pace and bounce.
Fernando and Rajitha could be highly productive in Mirpur.