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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Saturday, November 29, 2008
Sports

Shakib admits lost chance

What confident Shakib Al Hasan said after the second day's play that it could have been a different story if he had not left the field in a crucial time when the South African batsmen were in a spot of bother against his left-arm spin.

On the third morning yesterday the young spinner proved that he had every right to say like this as the Magura lad picked up three more wickets to finish with figures of 6-99, his third five-wicket haul and second against the Proteas, who were bowled out for 429 just half an hour before the lunch break.

Shakib, who also claimed five wickets in the first Test to enhance his reputation as a spinner and became the second bowler after Enamul Haque to take consecutive five-wicket hauls in Tests, was unlucky not to become second bowler for Bangladesh to make a hattrick after Alok Kapali.

The young left-arm spinner left the field before tea on the second day to treat a cut in his finger that gave Ashwell Prince and Mark Boucher, who made a record South African sixth wicket partnership, some room to settle in the middle to take away the initiative.

“It was a very crucial stage of the match as we kept them under pressure. Another wicket could have changed everything but unfortunately I had to leave the field to treat my cut. If I could have continued the bowling with another paceman from the other side then you never know what could have happened,” observed a positive Shakib.

But his next observation was more significant when he said that their opponents were lucky to ease the pressure.

“No doubt they batted well but I think they were a bit lucky also,” said the all-rounder without elaborating.

But without any doubt he has raised the questions against the poor umpiring which apparently upset the whole Bangladesh team as they believe that they were just one wicket away to take the first innings lead against Graeme Smith's men for the second time.

The TV replays clearly showed that Mark Boucher, who hit 117, survived at least twice against confident leg-before appeals from the Bangladeshis while Prince, who made his career best 162 not out, had one reprieve.

The two overnight batsmen were on top against the pacers before Shakib stopped their surge by removing Boucher, who pushed at the ball only to give a catch at short cover to Imrul Kayes.

It just opened the gate for Shakib as Morne Morkel got an inside edge onto his pads to see his off-stump dismantled in the very first ball. The left-arm spinner was on a hattrick but Monde Zondeki frustrated him but in the next ball he got rid of him.

Shahadat Hossain picked up the remaining two wickets to warp up the South African innings but before that the home side confirmed a 179-run lead thanks to a good knock from Prince.

The Kingsmead is his favourite ground but the left-hander definitely considered SuperSport as a lucky ground as he got his first hundred against Zimbabwe at the same ground and also made another century against Pakistan last year before making this, his highest score in Tests.

“Bangladesh were bullish when Mark (Boucher) and I started batting. They said they needed just one wicket to get to the tail. However, batting became easier as the ball got older and softer,” said Prince.

“In previous Tests I went to bat against them (Bangladesh) when we had accumulated around 500 runs and I did not find that stimulating,” he added.

Prince along with his partner Boucher set a new sixth wicket record for their side as they contributed 271 runs to eclipse the previous best of 200 runs made by Graeme Pollock and Tiger Lance in 1969-70.

“The record is not so important to me. I'm just glad I could step up when the team needed me. It means a lot to be able to help the team out of trouble,” said Prince.

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