Space For Rent

Space For Rent
Saturday, July 25, 2015, Shraban 10, 1422 BS, Shawal 8, 1436 Hijr

BD vs SA, 1st Test, Day 4
Rain mars fourth day's play
Uday Sankar Das  from Chittagong
Published :Saturday, 25 July, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 12

Overnight torrential rain and continuous downpour since the morning forced the match officials to call off play for the day on Friday without a ball being bowled on the fourth afternoon of the first Test match between Bangladesh and South Africa at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong.
At the end of the rain-shortened third day, the match was nicely poised with South Africa left to score 17 more runs to wipe off their first innings deficit with all second innings wickets in hand and then set a target for the home team.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, though luckless on the previous day in breaking the Proteas opening pair, would have tried to repeat their first innings bowling performance to restrict the visitors to a target well within their reach.
There was therefore all to play for, but it was the rain that played the spoilsport. Even if the rain relents and play is possible on the fifth day, the whole exercise will be academic as there are still two full innings to be completed.
The match started with the South Africans batting first and posting a 100-plus score at lunch on Day 1 for the loss of only 1 wicket but they were restricted to only 61 runs in the second session by some tight and accurate bowling by the home team bowlers to go for tea on 165 for 3.
The real breakthrough came in the third session when left arm fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman sent three Proteas batsmen to the dressing room in one over - a great achievement in the very first Test.
Spinner Jubair Hossain took care of the tail enders thus ending the South African first innings at 248 runs. Mustafiz with 4 for 37 and Jubair 3 for 53 runs were the pick of the bowlers. Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes saw off the two overs available scoring 7 runs. Day 1 definitely belonged to Bangladesh.
The Bangladeshi batsmen on Day 2 showed maturity and patience in negotiating the pace trio Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel when runs were very difficult to get on a slow pitch.
They did not go for any rushed shots, only hitting the balls available to be hit. Unfortunately, they then gave away their wickets to 'lesser known' bowlers. They went for lunch at 80 runs for 2 and in the second session Tamim and Mahmudullah put on 89 for the third wicket and at tea-break took the score to 153 for 3, with Tamim out for 57 and Mahmudullah also getting his 50.
Before rain finally halted play for the day Bangladesh took their score to 179 for 4 with Shakib Al Hasan and skipper Mushfiqur Rahim  remaining at the crease.  That was another good day's work for Bangladesh.
Things however turned a bit sour on the third day and Bangladesh failed to capitalise on the advantage gained earlier. Except a 82-run partnership between Liton Das and Shakib for the 6th wicket and a cameo knock of 25 by Mohammad Shahid, there was nothing much to talk about except that the Bangladeshi team took the first innings lead of 78 runs while scoring their highest score against the Proteas.
Liton Das needs a word of special mention for his maiden Test 50. At the end of the third day which again was curtailed by rain, the South African openers wiped off 61 runs of the deficit when play was again called off because of rain. Bangladesh definitely lost the chance of making the most of their advantage on Day 3.
That was the match position: South Africa 248 and 61/0, Bangladesh 326.
With rain virtually washing away all hopes of a result in this Test, all eyes will now be on the 2nd Test scheduled to start on August 30 at Mirpur, Dhaka.
But the pertinent question that is being asked in cricket quarters is: How wise was the decision to arrange a tour of Bangladesh in the middle of monsoon?

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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