Bangladesh look to build on “turning point” draw
MUMBAI – Bangladesh’s superb rearguard action that led to an unlikely draw in the first Test against Pakistan last week could well be the “turning point” their coach believes will inspire the side to build on a brilliant run of form.
Considered one of the minnows among the 10 Test playing nations, Bangladesh’s realistic goal at previous World Cups had always been to beat teams ranked lower than themselves while trying to cause an upset against one of the major sides.
However, they performed admirably at the recent tournament co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, ousting England in the group phase and reaching the quarter-finals for the first time.
Despite bowing out to powerhouse India, if that showing was not enough to convince all about their rising stock in world cricket, Bangladesh silenced many of the remaining doubters with their recent results against Pakistan at home.
After beating Pakistan in a one-day international for the first time in 16 years, the hosts went on to blank the tourists 3-0 in the series and followed that up with a maiden Twenty20 victory against the opponents.
Although Pakistan had been weakened by the retirements of senior players and the unavailability of some frontline batsmen and bowlers due to injuries, the margins of victory underlined Bangladesh’s utter dominance.
The hosts then came into the two-Test series having lost all their previous eight matches against Pakistan and that record looked set to continue before they overhauled a huge first innings deficit to force an incredible draw at Khulna.
Tamim Iqbal scored a double century and Imrul Kayes 150 in a record opening stand of 312 as Bangladesh overhauled a deficit of 296 after Pakistan’s mammoth first innings total of 628.
“I think it is a very big turning point in Bangladesh cricket,” coach Chandika Hathurusingha said after the match.
“We recently made some history but it is mostly beating our own records. The significance here is the biggest opening partnership in the second innings.
“We have really made a mark in the international stage that we have come of age. The last two days have proved that we are a very competitive side.”
Test captain Mushfiqur Rahim hoped the result would spur them on to achieve even better results in the future, starting with the second Test in Dhaka on Wednesday.
“We dominated this draw and it was nothing less than a win, against such a team and with 296 runs behind,” Rahim said.
“Such a performance gives you belief as a group that we can overcome future goals.
“There is no end to improvement.” – Reuters