An imperious all-round display from Rashid Khan helped Afghanistan to grab the commanding position in Chattogram Test against Bangladesh. At the end of day two, Bangladesh trail Afghanistan by 148 runs with only two wickets in hand. Captain Shakib Al Hasan said it was the lack of application from the batsmen that caused this situation for the hosts.
“I am not to say that they are (Afghan spinners) unplayable. We failed to apply ourselves properly. They way Mosaddek (Hossain Saikat) and Taijul (Islam) batted today proves that it was possible to plan and go accordingly,” Shakib told the media at the end day two.
Afghanistan scored 271 for five on day one and in the morning session on Friday, they added more 71 runs batting for more 21 overs losing the last five wickets. After Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan was also close to hitting a ton but fell short of eight runs. But eventually, with the help of a quick fifty off Rashid, Afghanistan posted a challenging total of 342 runs in their first innings, which is now their highest total in Tests.
Bangladesh lost five wickets just in 88 runs with Rashid removed Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim in quick succession. Bangladesh never recovered that fragile position.
Liton and Mominul looked comfortable against the varied spin-attack of Afghanistan but they failed to capitalise on their chances. However, Shakib thinks they are right at their approach.
“Look at Mominul, as long as he scored, he played on that way (aggressively against spinners). I would not say the way he was batting is wrong. And Liton, he was dismissed by a low delivery. We saw that sort of deliveries on day one as well. We just missed a good partnership. Had we have a good partnership, we would have more four or five wickets now,” Shakib added.
Bangladesh captain also said that the wicket was not as he wanted it to be, although at the press-meet after day one, Taijul had said the wicket was as their expectation. Shakib backed his position saying: “We were surprised because we did not want this sort of wickets. It was the complete opposite of what we expected.”
However, despite the fact that the Tigers are struggling at this point of Chattogram Test, Shakib believes they can still seal this game.
“There are hundreds of instances when a team win a Test match in spite of failure in the first innings. So anything can happen. But to win this game, we have to bat for a longer period with two last wickets and come up with a better bowling plan in the next innings,” he further told the media.
Qais Ahmed, the Afghan debutant spinner, also expressed they are in a strong position to win this game against Bangladesh. According to him, a brief rain interruption saved Bangladeshi batsman from more sharp attack from the Afghan spinners.
“I did not get many wickets today, but I am happy with the way I bowled in this wicket. I played here for Afghanistan A and did well. I think we have a good chance to win this game. I will have a new ball tomorrow and we can bundle them quickly,” Qais said.
The ongoing Chattogram Test is the first meeting of Bangladesh and Afghanistan in the most prestigious form of cricket. Bangladesh never won their first Test against the other Test-playing countries.