Quick update late at night for you all.
Very frustrating day today. I have a few more grey hairs as a result. Anyway, we started quite well as the ball did not swing much in the first hour and the English bowlers attacked which allowed us scoring opportunities early. This is the reason for the high run rate early. They were not many risky shots just drives and leg glances etc as they bowled more balls at the stumps.
After the first change of bowling about 8th over, the English team bowled 2 feet wide of off stump for the rest of the day. The ball really started to swing, a lot and this is still something our batsmen are having trouble dealing with and is the prime reason we are even touring England instead of a cheaper option such as India or Pakistan. We need to experience these conditions as we don't get the ball swinging in Bangladesh.
We also don't face much bowling where the ball is wide and swinging all the time. The aim of the game here is patience and unfortunately we still are developing that aspect of our game. We need to make the bowlers bowl to us, not our batsmen chasiing them. A classic example is Dhiman Ghosh, who in my opinion is probably the best batsmen in this group along with Aftab, we have yet to face a bowler who would troubled him. The only person who gets him out is himself. But he is learning.
Nazim, Nadfi, Mushfiqur, Ashim and Rajib all displayed the patience required to play the longer game and hence we were able to build a score of 273. We will have to bowl well, to gain a lead but there was plenty of dust around the wicket today and some good footmarks developing so our spinners could work well tomorrow.
We had an extensive review this evening of our batting and their bowling and hopefully we can put some things in to practice in the second innings.
Day 2 (via email to chinaman)
The day started well with Joe Denley out caught behind to Rajib 3rd ball of the day. The decision was a little dubious but the ball was a good one regardless.
A partnership then built between Alistair Cook and Ravi Bopara, before Rajib collected his second wicket having Cook caught at cover by Aftab Ahmed. This followed a period of sustained good bowling from Rajib and Nazmul.
Bopara was next to go bowled by Nadif Chowdhury, beaten in flight losing his leg stump.
First test hero Luke Wright was then bowled by Nadif Chowdhury trying to repeat his favourite cut shot which proved so successful for him in the first test.
James Hildreth and Samit Patel then took England to lunch with the score on 4 for 142, chasing Bangladesh' 273.
Patel was dismissed in the first over after lunch by Nadif Chowdhury courtesy of a brilliant catch at silly mid off by Nafees Ahmed. This left England at 5 for 156, still 117 short of their target.
The lunch tea session then belonged to England with Somerset's Country 1st's leading run scorer James Hildreth demonstrating his class who along with Steve Davies batting through to tea to have England still 5 down but with a first innings lead of 40.
Immediately after tea Nazmul Hossain claimed Davies caught behind by Dhiman Ghosh. He then bowled Adam Harrison for 1 to have England 330 for 7. Hildreth then moved on past his 150.
Nazmul Hossain took a brilliant catch to dismiss Mark Turner from the bowling of Nadif.
Nazmul Hossain then had Simon Cusden caught at gully before Hildreth went on a rampage batting with number 11 Michael Munday. Hildreth approached and passed his double hundred from one Nazmul Hossain over in which he slammed 25 including 3 sixes. He was then bowled by Rajib by the first ball of the next over for 210.
England were finally dismissed for 392 with a lead 119. Nadif finished with 4 wickets while Rajib and Nazmul Hossain both grabbed 3 each.
Nafees Iqbal was out in the third over caught behind off the bowling of Luke Wright for 6.
Bangladesh closed at stumps to be 13 for 1.
Hildreth - sensational one of the best innings i have ever had the pleasure of seeing. A chanceless double century, and hardly hit a ball in the air until the last 30 mins when he cut loose for fear of losing batting partners. It was a great example of how to bat.
Our bowlers all bowled quite well, but he was able to absorb pressure and then wait for a loose ball, which at time took up to 10 overs to come. Enam was a little out of sorts to do and did not bowl to his potential but all others bowled very well. If you take out hildreth's 200 and davies 70, there is not much left in the England innings. Unfortunately we just could not break the partnerships.
Enam did change the bowling around frequently at times, but this was part of the plan in order to unsettle the batsmen and keep exposing them to different angles, speeds and degrees of turn.
Unfortunately we lost a late wicket prior to stumps to a very good delivery from Luke Wright.
But today is a new day and the batsmen have the job ahead of them. If we can bat through the day today we are in for a good chance as the wicket is getting drier and the footmarks will come into play.
Sorry i did not make special mention to Mushfiqur in the first innings, he batted very well, but the support of Ashim Chowdhury and then Rajib ensured we could build the partnerships so they deserve equal credit.
Nadif again was our leading bowler, but Nazmul and Rajib are also starting to hit their straps.
The second test had a disappointing conclusion when we could only set England 56 runs to win in the 2nd innings. Again had we been able to set them around 200 or 250 it would have been a genuine chance as there were some good footmarks for our spinners to work with and Nazmul Hossain is bowling well.
Aftab batted very well in the second innings to score 91 and is demonstrating a new level of maturity with his batting. It has been a tough challenge to get him to do this, but I am pleased with the progress he has made and hope he can take this into the Champion?s trophy. He received a very good ball from England Luke Wright in the last over, yesterday, that pitched on middle and off and moved away getting a faint edge on the way through.
Aftab and Nadif batted very well to get through a very good spell of bowling, to add 88 for the 5th wicket before Nadif was caught behind to a ball that swung a long way from medium pacer James Hildreth.
To summarise the test without going through all the scores, some key points can be identified.
- Our batsmen struggled with the swinging ball as we simply don?t have to face it in Bangladesh, not for more than a few overs anyway. In England the balls swings for 80 overs. A problem we have identified is that our practice matches have been played with a type of ball (Readers) that does not swing nearly as much as the Dukes ball which is used in the Test matches. The standard of the opposition teams in the practice matches has been good, but the ball has not swung as much and we have spun teams out.
- A positive is that most of our batsmen are not throwing their wickets away and have developed much more patience. They are being dismissed to caught balls, some they may be able to let go, but when the ball is swinging a lot that is always difficult to do. Steve Davies, the England keeper collected 9 catches for the match, Alistair Cook at 1st slip 2, Patel at 2nd slip 1 along with 3 players bowled by swinging deliveries. That is 17 of 20 dismissals for the match. Nazim Uddin was lbw in the first innings to a ball that would have got most batsmen out, although it may have been swinging too much. The only foolish shots were Dhiman in both innings and Mushfiqur Rahim in the second innings.
- The Bangladesh team displayed magnificent fighting ability with the ball and with a little more experience bowling with a ball that swings will be formidable opposition in time. We spent 5 weeks at BKSP working with the bowlers on swinging the ball, but it is just not the same as real match practice.
- Absolute summary - we need more practice both batting against and bowling with a ball that swings for extended period of time.
- Observing the match from the stands it was a case of men playing boys in terms of experience, regardless of the players? ages. The talk on the field during a match from the English players indicated a higher level of understanding of the game then our team. The fact that many of the English team are playing in County 1st XI?s is a major factor. James Hildreth for example has spent the last 5 weeks batting at 4 with Ricky Ponting at 3 for Somerset, there is no where in Bangladesh for our players to gain this on field experience.
- Making comparisons between the U19 and National team is foolish and of no real benefit to anyone. Both teams are playing in different competitions and you can?t compare apples with oranges.
- A major issue is the level of domestic cricket in Bangladesh, is that players aged 20 are basically the leading players in the competition and there fore are not really challenged. The quality and quantity of cricket played is making it near impossible for our players to ever compete with leading international teams. The concept of playing 132 games in 40 something days on four grounds summarises where the priorities of our domestic cricket lies. The important fact is to ensure people can play so they can earn their income, and this is very important. However in order to strengthen our international cricket the format of domestic cricket needs to change so it provides a better breeding ground for test cricket. The only way to do this is to have the 4 Day National League competition as the premier competition in the country. It is easier to adapt from 4 day cricket back to one day cricket rather than the other way around. This is an issue beyond my control, but one that I feel needs addressing not just from with the BCB, but from the cricket public who wish the national team to compete internationally.
Please remain patient and keep looking for ways to improve rather than opportunities to criticise, although constructive well thought out criticism is always welcome.
Complete Scorecard: Test Two
Complete Scorecard: Test One