Talha Kamal
Bangladesh suffered a shocking 151-run defeat against Zimbabwe on Day 4 of first Test match at Sylhet International Stadium on Tuesday.
Chasing a total of 321 runs, Tigers’ resistance crumbled against Zimbabwe’s spinners, as they were all out for 169 runs in the second innings.
This victory gives Zimbabwe their first away Test match win after 17 long years.
After first innings batting debacle, Bangladesh’s dismal batting display continued in the second innings as well. Chasing a challenging total of 321 runs, start of second innings was a decent one for Bangladesh. Openers Imrul Kayes and Liton Das added 56 runs before Liton’s departure in the hands of Sikandar Raza. After that, wickets started to fall at regular intervals.
Mahmudullah once again showed that despite having the ability and technique, he has not yet been able to mentally adapt to Test cricket, throwing away his wicket trying to play a sweep shot and gloving it to the man at silly point off the bowling off Sikandar Raza.
At launch, Bangladesh’s total was 111 for 5. Tigers’ were 210 runs away from victory. Mushfiqur Rahim was Bangladesh’s last hope but he couldn’t deliver as well. Mushfiqur Rahim (13) was the first wicket to fall after the lunch break, when he swept Mavuta down deep square-leg. Wellington Masakadza took a great catch diving forward. At that moment, Bangladesh’s defeat was inevitable. Ariful Haque tried to counter by hitting few boundaries, as Bangladesh slumped from 111 for 5 to 150 for 7 after lunch but it was too little too late for the Tigers’.

Ariful was the final wicket to fall after hitting a 37-ball 38. Spinners Mavuta and Wellington was Zimbabwe’s star performers. Mavuta finished with figures of 4 for 21 in 10 overs while the latter bagged 2 for 33 in 5.1 overs. Sikandar Raza also bagged three wickets.

A big partnership was needed and someone had to play an innings like Zimbabwe’s Williams played in the first innings but no one could. From senior to junior players, none was able to stand up for the team. Senior players like skipper Mahmudullah and wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim was non-existent in the team and couldn’t make any difference. Complacency was one of the main reasons of Tigers’ downfall in this match. From team selection to approach on the field everything was wrong.

Bangladesh need to rectify their mistakes if they want to improve their performance in Test matches. Playing the same players in every format is not going to work. For Test match, some experienced and veteran players are needed who could fill Shakib-Tamim’s void.

Our domestic matches are always played on flat wickets; therefore pitches for domestic matches should improve. Players like Tushar Imran, who consistently score big runs in the domestic league, should be given a chance. Playing with only one pacer in a Test match is unacceptable as well. Players in the current team should also play more responsibly and patiently, in both the innings batsman gave their wickets away cheaply. The only positive in this match was Taijul’s 11-wicket haul. The second and final Test will begin at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on Sunday.