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Sunday, November 25, 2012
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All changed with a shot

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan (3rd from R) is the toast of his teammates after claiming his 100th Test wicket, that of West Indies skipper Darren Sammy, on the fourth day of the second Test at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna. Photo: Firoz Ahmed

Bangladesh's tumble to defeat was clear from the end of the third day of the second Test against West Indies at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna. The West Indies had taken a first innings lead of 177 and still had five wickets in hand, with run-machine Shivnarine Chanderpaul batting on 109. On the fourth day yesterday however, Bangladesh and Shakib Al Hasan in particular learnt a harsh lesson in Test cricket after the left-hander did splendidly both with the ball and with the bat to give the home side a glimmer of hope, which he himself extinguished at the fag end of the day.

It was almost a day to celebrate for Bangladesh's feted all-rounder, but the word 'almost' will probably be what the day is remembered for. He had to wait till his 49th over to take his first wicket, that of Denesh Ramdin, but after that he sent back Darren Sammy, Veerasammy Permaul and Sunil Narine in his next five overs. In taking four wickets he not only became just the second Bangladesh bowler to claim 100 Test wickets and the country's highest wicket-taker -- overtaking Mohammad Rafique on 100 -- but also effectively limited the West Indian dominance as captain Sammy declared with a lead of 261, not insurmountable on a batting-friendly track.

But the top-order batsmen repeated their first innings ineptness, crashing to 82 for five -- losing all wickets in the afternoon session, culminating in captain Mushfiqur Rahim's most uncharacteristic slog to be bowled by Permaul. At that stage Shakib, so often the saviour, stepped in with what was one of his better innings. He constructed a 144-run sixth wicket partnership with Nasir Hossain and had carried the team to within 35 runs of clearing the deficit but that is when the harsh lesson was handed out.

The lesson is that in Test cricket a batsman's job is never really done until a team is safe, and safety in a Test match is not an easily won position. Shakib, batting on 97 and undoubtedly anxious to get his third hundred to cap a perfect day from an individual viewpoint, stepped out to Permaul in the first ball of the last over of the day and tried to hit the ball miles, but it only went the thirty metres or so to the mid-off fielder. A century may have been the icing on a perfect day for him, but it would still not have gotten the Tigers out of the woods.

Getting out at that stage, when the West Indians were on the ropes after a fighting stand from the home team and a session in which not a wicket had fallen after the five scalps in the previous one, spells certain doom for the team as the visitors will be rejuvenated in the morning today knowing that their opponents' main weapon has been neutralised.

It may seem unfair to dwell on Shakib's dismissal when his top order teammates just did not turn up and were reckless, but it's the manner of dismissal which finds the near-saviour especially culpable. He could just as easily have picked three singles to get to his hundred, or even stopped bothering about the milestone knowing fully well that he could come back tomorrow and reach it in good time.

A 144-run stand is not enough to save a match, especially when the opposition had recorded a partnership of more than 300 and another worth more than 150. Neither was a 117-ball 97 an innings that could change the momentum decisively. Perhaps it was the knowledge that his shot erased the considerable good work he had done for his team that kept him from appearing at the post-day press conference, even though he was the best performer of the day.

Instead of enduring a wicketless session and being confronted with two set batsmen in the morning, Shakib's shot has ensured that the visitors will come out all guns blazing, with only four wickets to go and 35 runs to guard for an innings victory.

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Pathetic! So Virendar Sehwag was right- Bangladesh Tigers are just a bunch of hopeless and inept LOSERS! Shakib is truly their mascot- always promising so much but in the end disappointing consistently! Not one matches winning test performance or even a match saving one from a single Bangladeshi in 12 years of Test cricket! Bangladesh just is not good enough to be a Test nation. 12 years is long enough- they are useless.

: Sami

In Test cricket there is a say 'nervous 90s',so many great cricketers got victim of that, and also 50 over of bowling in a flat pitch, I would praise him for what he had done in this match. Me sure Shakib will learn from his mistakes.

: iqbal uddin


  • Anis Sabeth
    Sunday, November 25, 2012 06:09 AM GMT+06:00 (167 weeks ago)

    Shakib was so impatient.

  • Jamst
    Sunday, November 25, 2012 08:15 AM GMT+06:00 (167 weeks ago)

    First he took 4 wickets then scored a splendid 97...and all our reporters could do is lamenting his lack of concentration! What a bunch of looser we are! We lament why Shakib is not superman.....why is there 11 players in the team? We are lucky we have a player like Shakib .........thanks to him we still watch Bangladesh play! I know this is not going to be published..........But this type of shallow journalism is one of the many reasons why we don't produce world class players! A team whose #2, #3 & #4 will not make a club team in other test teams can never compete in tests....that's where our problem is.......Shakib is an all-rounder and he should play like an all-rounder. I hope Shakib can ignore these kind of hollow reporting and continue to perform.

  • Dr Naim Islam
    Monday, November 26, 2012 07:31 AM GMT+06:00 (167 weeks ago)

    A cricket team is part of nation. When all of us have failed to show the qualities of a 'good nation', I think it is not fare to ask different from our youngsters. A nation is built over the years with good leadership setting examples to follow, I see our Young Tigers are a reflection of our national character as it is reflected on the street by the road users. We need good governance and high moral standards in our education system. I never lose hope on my nation, but failing for too long in too many occasions kills ones self respect. May Allah Ta'ala guide us to the Right Path.

  • S Rahman
    Sunday, November 25, 2012 05:00 AM GMT+06:00 (167 weeks ago)

    I love Shakib, I can't help but feel that the IPL filmly saga and excessive tv appearances have clouded his sense of judgement and modesty. Given his calibre and hard-working ethic, I am utterly stunned by the selfishness of the shot he decided to play today. Earth to Shakib! Your team mates still need you, and so do your fans - keep the bigger picture in mind and the personal milestones will come into place naturally.





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