Saturday, June 06, 2020, 04:42:40 AM

Crafty Naeem and Resilient Ervine Championed Day-1 

Saleque Sufi |
Update: 2020-02-22 6:16:05 PM
Crafty Naeem and Resilient Ervine Championed Day-1 
Zimbabwe Vs Bangladesh One Off Test Match

Zimbabwe Vs Bangladesh One Off Test Match Played at SBNCS, Dhaka From 22-26 February 2020
Scorecard At Stump Day-1:
Zimbabwe 228/6 (CR Irvine 107, PS Masvure 64, Naeem Hasan 4/68, Abu Jayed 2/51) 

On a wicket which neither had much purchase for pacers nor turned and bounced appreciably for Bangladesh spinners cautious Zimbabwe batted with grit and determination. At stumps of day one Zimbabwe winning the toss and electing to bat were 228/6. Captain Ervine played with exemplary concentration and commitment scoring 107 of 227 deliveries. The stand in captain became the second batsman after Dave Haughton scoring century in his first test century for his country. Without him and opener Masvura (64) other touring batsmen struggled through out the day against accurate but not much penetrative Bangladesh bowling.  Naeem however bowled exceptionally well though sweep and reverse sweeping strategy of Irvine controlled the major damage of the tourist innings. At sumps we can conclude that the honors were evenly shared with the nose of Bangladesh a bit in front specially when Naeem removed Ervine just before stumps.
The strategy of home team prescribing the wicket and selecting the playing eleven could not be assessed. Bangladesh needs giving its pacers to bowl on lively wicket and expose its batsmen batting on a pacey bouncy wicket. If this can not be risked against Zimbabwe at home against which Bangladesh would do that. It is not even a spinning track. Why not all rounder Mehedy Miraj included in the playing eleven replacing a batsman? Where Naeem bowled so well Mehedy could be equally useful. Liton could open the batting with Tamim. It is ultra defensive attitude of Bangladesh. Perhaps team management was heavily dictated. It is too early to make concluding remarks.  Till Bangladesh bat in their first innings the nature of the wicket and justification of ultra defensive team selection cannot be assessed. For winning a test, which Bangladesh so desperately need now team strategy could be more aggressive. At least 5 bowlers with three spinners could be better. 

Bangladesh included 5 pacers in the 16 member squad. Alongside Edadat and Jayed, Taskin, Mustafiz and Mahmud Hasan were also included. People thought team management wanted to make this test an experiment with a good combination of pace attack on a pacey wicket targeting the Karachi test coming next. However, Mahmud Hasan was quickly released. Taskin and Mustafiz were not picked. Bangladesh appeared with two pacers and two spinners.  By the look of it the wicket did not look like a turner though bounce was in the lower side. Bangladeshi pacers had a great opening spell. Abu Jayed consumed opener Kasuza very early. Captain Ervine and other opener Masvure with dogged defense and crafty skills against Bangladesh spinners kept Bangladesh bowlers at bay though Naeem kept them guessing with flights and variation. His mate Taijul was a bit off colour. Bangladesh missed Mehedy Miraj.  

Masvura and Ervine added price less 111 runs in the second wicket partnership. Their partnership was a classic lesson for Bangladesh batsmen how to bat in test match. Masvura batted 152 deliveries for his 64 when he was baffled by a well –flighted Naeem delivery giving him a return catch. Senior professional Brendon Taylor joined Ervine. Taylor and Ervine started sweeping and reverse sweeping to offset Naeem’s grip. Suddenly an attempted reverse sweep of Taylor off Naeem caused him loose his wicket at a critical time. At 3/134 it was thought that floodgate would open. But captain Ervine remained unflinching. He put on useful 40 with Sikandar Raza for the fourth wicket before Naeem again struck.  From there on it was Ervine all one. Leading from the front he went to his century 107 to be exact before the 6th batsman getting out. Tourists reached 228/6 at stumps. This can not be said a big score neither a small one either. Bangladesh must try and restrict Zimbabwe innings below 260-270 and then bat sensibly taking a leaf out of Ervine’s batting. Tamim, Mominul and Mushfique have to shoulder additional responsibility. By end stumps day two it would better seen which direction the test would be heading.

Bowling of Naweem for Bangladesh and Batting of Ervine for Zimbabwe were the features of day one.

BDST: 1815 HRS, FEB 22, 2020

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