Proteas taming Bengal Tigers


Saleque Sufi

Bangladesh Vs South Africa Second Test Played at Bloemfontein, South Africa

Score Card at Stumps of Day Two. Bangladesh Following On

Also Read - 'It feels like first-class cricket,' says Rabada

South Africa 573/4 Declared (AK Markram 143, F du Plessis 135*, H Amla 132, D Elgar 113, Subhasish Roy 3/118, Rubel Hossain 1/113, Mustafiz 0/113 and Taijul 0/143),

Bangladesh 147 All Out (Litton K Das 70, Imrul Kayes 26, K Rabada 5/33, D Olivier 3/40)

Scorecard tells it all. Pathetic and hopeless Bengal tigers were tamed turned into mickey mouse by South African hungry wolves on the second day of the second Test.

There cannot be any excuse for the back-to-back miserable performance over two Tests other than lack of skills, temperament and application of Bangladesh players against professional South Africans on not too difficult wickets.

Mushfiqur for the second Test in succession won the toss and obliging to the team decision put home side to bat surprising all cricket admirers everywhere. Wickets did not have extraordinary assistance for pacers, did not have grass cover or disconcerting bounce, no cloud cover to assist swing with the new ball.

Bangladesh also did not have Mitchell Starc or Wasim Akram in their pace battery to dismantle the opposition early. Yet they risked allowing home side run riot and being buried under run mountain.

In the first Test, it showed some resistance. However, here after four of the six South African batsmen easing to centuries their pace bowlers swept Bangladesh aside crushing them to 147 all out.

Bangladesh following on could reach 7/0 when stumps were drawn. Visitors are still 419 runs away to make South Africa bat again. Many observers apprehend that the match may be done and dusted by the end of day three unless sky open up and wash away the day’s play.

On an easy-paced batting surface where four front line Bangladesh bowlers struggled to bowl consistently, South African pacers appeared as unplayable monsters for clueless Bangladesh batsmen. They were found huffing and puffing against short rising deliveries aimed at their rib cages.

Dayle Steyn, Vernon Philander, Chris Morris and even Morne Morkel were not there.

However, Kagisio Rabada’s 5/33 and local lad De Oliviers 3/40 were there unleashing series of chin music for the listless Bangladeshi batsmen. They had neither skill, nor the temperament dealing with such bowling.

Bangladesh fell into the trap that Proteas bowlers set for them. Only for the brave innings of Litton K Das (70) Bangladesh could avoid total humiliation getting all out for 147. In the first Test they could avoid following on when several top order batsmen got the start. But here 7 of the 11 batsmen could not even reach double digit.

Kayes showed some guts early on. But it was all Litton to speak about in Bangladesh innings, which lasted only 42.5 overs.

Many thought if rain did not digest one and a half hours’ match could be over by stumps of day two.

Earlier on the day when match had delayed start for rain two overnight batsmen H Amla and F du Plessis both raced to their centuries. Amla fell to Subhashis scoring 132 but du Plessis remained not out for 135.

All four front line bowlers Mustafiz, Rubel, Subhashis and Taijul conceded more than 100 runs. Subhashis picked 3 of the four wickets and Rubel got the other. Bangladeshi bowlers could never ball consistently in the right channel. It was all too easy for south African batsmen.

It was all changed when Bangladesh came to bat. Bangladesh lost Soumya, Mominul, Mushfiqur and Kayes before they reached 61/4 by tea. In the last session, they struggled reaching 147 before being bundled out for 147.

Only Wicket Keeper batsman Litton gusted out scoring breezy 70. He with Taijul produced 5o runs partnership in the seventh wicket.

With 426 runs in arrears Bangladesh was made following on. At stumps, they could reach 7/0. The third day will turn out as decisive test for the tigers. The miserable Bangladesh performance amply demonstrated how ill prepared they are for playing against South Africa in their conditions. Questions must be raised about the utility of expensive coaching stuff and lack of professionalism of players.

Bangladesh had to digest the humiliation of two undesirable records for the second time in tests –conceding two double hundred stands in an innings and the fourth time they conceded four individual centuries in an innings of a Test.