22 May 2007
Bulletin by Khondaker Mirazur Rahman
Despite a sporting declaration by Indian skipper Rahul Dravid, the first Test between Bangladesh and India at Chittagong Divisional Stadium ended in a tame draw on Tuesday.
Chasing an improbable victory target of 250 in 43 overs, Bangladesh showed some rearguard in the second innings and reached 104 for 2 in 28 overs. Bangladesh needed 146 runs requiring in last 15 overs, and India required 8 wickets. It was an almost impossible situation for both teams, and the captains decided to call off the game.
Mashrafe Mortaza earned the man of the match for his brilliant all-round performance © Cricinfo
At one point, Bangladesh appeared to go for the win when they raced to 49 for 1 in just 8 overs, but the Indian bowlers came back nicely and managed to restrict the run flow. After losing the early initiative, Bangladesh were happy to play for a draw. This is only the fifth time Bangladesh managed to draw a Test out of 45 matches.
However, mystery remains to most of Bangladeshi fans about the decision to send Rajin Saleh after the fall of Habibul Bashar, when there was a possibility to go for a win, especially after a solid start. It appeared that Bangladesh team management decided to shut the shop, even before a real try to chase down the total. Promoting Mashrafe Mortaza or Mohammad Ashraful could have made the match more exciting, but unsurprisingly Bangladesh decided to play safe.
Javed Omar was the highest scorer for Bangladesh with 52 runs off 82 balls with eight boundaries and one six. Bangladesh skipper Habibul Bashar scored 37 runs off 49 deliveries with six boundaries, this will be a relief for Bashar after an extended spell of lean patch.
Earlier, wet outfield caused by overnight rain delayed the start, and after three bouts of inspection, play finally resumed at 2:00 PM local time. According to revised playing conditions a maximum of 56 overs were possible, and India made a brave declaration at 100-6 after scoring some quick runs setting 250 as winning target for Bangladesh. Spinner Mohammad Rafique did the main damage to the Indian second innings and bagged 3 wickets for 27 runs.
Bangladesh pace spearhead Mashrafe Mortaza was adjudged Man of the Match for his outstanding performances with both bat and ball. He took 5 wickets in the match for 133 runs, and more importantly played a brave knock of 79 off 91 deliveries to rescue Bangladesh in the first innings.
The second and final Test match of the series will start on Friday in Dhaka.
Final Score :
387 for 8d (Sachin Tendulkar 101, Sourav Ganguly 100; Mashrafe Mortaza 4-97) and 100 for 6d (Mohammad Rafique 3-27)
Bangladesh 238 (Mashrafe Mortaza 79; RP Singh 3-45) and 104 for 2 (Javed Omar 52*)