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Plays of the day: Miraz shines, hard-working Taijul and Mahmudullah's madness

  • Published at 04:13 am October 30th, 2016
Plays of the day: Miraz shines, hard-working Taijul and Mahmudullah's madness
Miraz shines once again The 19-year old youngster performed spin magic yet again. He is the first Bangladesh bowler to take back-to-back five-wicket hauls in the first two matches. In the past, six bowlers took five-wicket hauls on debut – Naimur Rahman Durjoy, Manjural Islam, Elias Sunny, Sohag Gazi, Taijul Islam and Mahmudullah. But none of them were able to take five wickets in the next match. So only in his second Test match, Mehedi Hasan Miraz has already placed himself in Bangladesh's history books. [caption id="attachment_26495" align="alignnone" width="888"] Bangladesh's Taijul Islam was the unsung hero with the wickets of England's Joe Root and Ben Stokes DHAKA TRIBUNE[/caption] Hard-working Taijul Miraz was the pick of the Tigers bowlers with six wickets but Taijul bowled impressively at the other end. The left-arm spinner continued to bowl a tight line and hardly gave away any easy runs. The hard-working slow bowler duly got his reward when he got the wicket of in-form English batsman Ben Stokes in the 16th over. Later, he took the important scalp of Joe Root, who was batting brilliantly, before dismissing Steven Finn. [caption id="attachment_26496" align="alignnone" width="888"] Bangladesh's Shakib al Hasan in full flight DHAKA TRIBUNE[/caption] Three spinners bowl first 57 overs Bangladesh attacked the long English batting line-up with a barrage of spin bowling. Miraz, Taijul and Shakib al Hasan bowled the first 57 overs and scalped all the wickets between themselves. The strategy worked well as they kept a lid on the runs as well. Among those 57 overs, Shakib bowled 12, Miraz 23 and Taijul 22. If these three had bowled a few more overs, England would have been dismissed well before the 82nd over. [caption id="attachment_26494" align="alignnone" width="888"] England's Adil Rashid prepares to launch against Miraz's bowling DHAKA TRIBUNE[/caption] Rashid-Woakes' 99-run stand for ninth wicket England were struggling after Root was dismissed with 144 runs on the scoreboard. Bangladesh spinners were on top and it appeared England would fall well short of the opposition's first innings tally of 220. But England’s No 9 Chris Woakes and No 10 Adil Rashid stood firm and formed a priceless 99-run partnership. This is England's highest ninth-wicket partnership in Asia. Thanks to the stand, the visitors managed a valuable 24-run lead and were right back into the game. [caption id="attachment_26497" align="alignnone" width="888"] After Miraz, Taijul and Shakib kept England under the cosh, Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim somehow lost the initiative by setting defensive fields DHAKA TRIBUNE[/caption] Defensive tactics England were on the backfoot after losing their eighth wicket for just 144 runs. Bangladesh were cruising at that time. But suddenly, England formed a big partnership and the hope of a substantial first-innings lead faded away for the Tigers. Captain Mushfiqur Rahim set a defensive field, with three-four players stationed at the boundary whilst the England No 9 and 10 were milking ones and twos. England took advantage and built a partnership that proved to be costly for the Tigers. [caption id="attachment_26493" align="alignnone" width="888"] England's Chris Woakes bats during their vital ninth wicket stand DHAKA TRIBUNE[/caption] No ball! Not again! Sabbir Rahman bowled a few full tosses during his five overs but a controversy arose in the 73rd over. It was a waist-high full toss from the part-time leg-spinner. Woakes pulled fiercely across the line and got caught straight into the hands of the fielder at midwicket. He started walking off the field but the umpires opted to check the height of the delivery before upholding the decision. And after assessing several replays, third umpire Chris Gaffaney ruled that the ball had been above waist-height and therefore, a no-ball was called. It was a marginal decision. The ball had looped high above Woakes' eyeline and was clearly dipping sharply when the batsman made contact several feet in front of his crease. In fact, subsequent HawkEye replays showed that the ball was hitting the base of the stumps. The incident was reminiscent of Rohit Sharma's reprieve against Bangladesh in the 2015 World Cup quarter-final in Melbourne. On that occasion though, it was clearly below waist-height. [caption id="attachment_26400" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Bangladesh's Mahmudullah is cleaned up in the final ball of the day DHAKA TRIBUNE[/caption] Mahmudullah's madness in final delivery The last-ball madness spoiled Bangladesh's charge and gave a psychological advantage to England yet again. Bangladesh were batting well in the final session. In the last over of the day, the lead was extended to 128. England captain Alastair Cook gave the ball to left-arm spinner Zafar Ansari. All that was needed at that time was for sanity to prevail but Mahmudullah thought otherwise. He was on 47, facing the last ball of the day and played a slog sweep, probably in order to reach his 13th fifty. And guess what, he missed and the ball hit the timber. England players were ecstatic as Mahmudullah just gifted the wicket to them. 152/2 sounds a whole lot better than 152/3. Will it prove to be costly for the hosts in the long run? Only time will tell.
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