Tuesday, Jul 05, 2022
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SA Vs BAN: Bangladesh Captain Mominul Haque Talks About 'Big Crime' In Test Defeat Against South Africa

Bangladesh were dismissed for 53 while chasing a target of 274 runs in the first Test against South Africa at Kingsmead, Durban. They lost by 220 runs.

Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque scored 0 and 7 in the first Test against South Africa.
Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque scored 0 and 7 in the first Test against South Africa. File Photo

It's no secret that Bangladesh are reeling from their shocking 220-run defeat against South Africa in the first Test at Kingsmead, Durban. Having won the preceding ODIs, and with the Proteas hit hard by the IPL exodus, Mominul Haque & Co were looking for another first. And the visitors did keep their chances alive for 11 sessions. Then the unthinkable happened. It was so bad that after the match skipper Haque admitted that they had indeed committed a "big crime". (More Cricket News)

So what really happened? Bangladesh won the toss. Winning the toss is the first thing a captain and his team need to impose their will on the rivals. More often than not, cricket results are directly linked to the toss. Bat first, bowl first. That's the game of cricket. At Kingsmead, Haque opted to bowl first, and they lost. It's not a crime, losing a match. It's also not a crime to lose after winning the match.

The 30-year-old from Cox's Bazar even justified his call, saying "I picked fielding because I felt the pace bowlers can extract something from the wicket." But an opening stand of 113 runs from Dean Elgar and Sarel Erwee denied Bangladesh early success on Day 1 after a belated start. That delayed start might have denied the visiting pacers some of the morning juice though.

After four days of intense battle which also witnessed some poor officiating and sledging, Bangladesh resumed their chase of a 274-run target on 11/3. They had lost the first-innings hero Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Shadman Islam and the skipper himself late on Day 4 in a crazy six-over period.

Then the remaining batters survived a grand total of 13 overs as Bangladesh registered their second-lowest Test score of 53 runs to lose the match and concede South Africa a 1-0 lead in the two-match series. But what really stood out was that all ten wickets were taken by spinners - Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer. Their previous lowest Test score was 43 against West Indies in 2018.

That didn't go down well with Haque, a proud captain of an Asian cricket team.

"I think it was a big crime on our part to give wickets to spinners on foreign soil," Mominul said. "You simply cannot give wickets to spinners when you are on tour. You have to score runs against spinners.

The left-handed batter, who scored 0 and 7 in the match, got out to spinners twice in the match. For the record, Najmul Hossain Shanto was the top scorer in the innings with 52-ball 26, and Taskin Ahmed's 17-ball 14 was the only other knock to reach double figures. There were four ducks too.

"I think it is my fault. I couldn't score in either innings. It is nothing but a total batting failure. I think we just couldn't handle the pressure," he lamented.

Meanwhile, reports emerged that the team didn't heed head coach Russell Domingo's advice to bat first. According to Cricbuzz, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hasan admitted that Domingo suggested batting first after winning the toss.

"I know both coaches (Domingo and Allan Donald) briefed them about the wicket and suggested it will be difficult to bat in the latter parts of the game as it would turn. There is Khaled Mahmud and Jalal bhai (BCB cricket operation chairman), so what can I say,'' the report quoted Nazmul as saying.

As it turned out, South African spinners wreaked havoc with Maharaj winning the player of the match award for his 7/32 in ten overs in the second innings. Simon Harmer, the comeback man, claimed 4/103 in the first innings and 3/21 in the second.

''Certainly, they (South African coaching staff) would know better about their own conditions. I heard Mominul said that it is his own decision. I know some senior batsmen said that they did not want to bat first and that has been the case for a while," Nazmul added.

The second Test at St George's Park, Port Elizabeth starts on April 8. South Africa vs Bangladesh, 2nd Test can be watched live on Star Sports Network. Fans can also stream SA vs BAN live on Disney+ Hotstar.

Bangladesh have lost all seven Test matches so far in South Africa, all by big margins. Overall, Bangladesh have managed to force draws in two matches, both at home, out of 13 Tests against the Proteas.

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