This article was published in the August issue of the Sports Tribune Magazine
Bangladesh's start to their tour of the West Indies for the first time since 2014 was no less than a nightmare, particularly for the batsmen. The Tigers had just suffered a 3-0 T20I series whitewash against Afghanistan before travelling to the Caribbean on June 23.
And if the spinners were a worry for the Tigers against Afghanistan, then it was the Windies pacers which were a serious concern for Bangladesh.
There were a lot of discussions doing the rounds regarding the in-form Caribbean pacers who had made life difficult for Sri Lanka in the Test match series a few weeks back. The Bangladesh cricketers had closely followed that series and opener Tamim Iqbal had even cancelled his Eid vacation to make some time batting in the nets.
The visiting team began the tour with a two-day warm-up game where Bangladesh batsmen had put on a good show, but the Tigers were mindful that the wickets in the Tests would be totally different. The Windies have always been known to produce pace-friendly wickets to give edge to their fiery bowlers.
The strategy had paid dividends against the Lankans, and it worked more wonders against Bangladesh.
@BCBtigers bowlers got some overs under their belts as their lone two-day warm-up match against @westindies President’s XI ended in a draw at Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua Fridayhttps://t.co/nXH1wOftL3#BCB #TIGERS #BCBTIGERS #CRICKET #BANGLADESH #BANGLADESHCRICKET #WINDIES— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) June 30, 2018
Going into the first Test in Antigua that started on July 4, sufferings for the Bangladesh batsmen were crystal clear. The Tigers lost the game by an innings and 219 runs within day three.
Bangladesh were shamed, having being dismissed for just 43 in the first innings and 144 in the second, negotiating a total of just 59 overs in the game. Windies pacer Kemar Roach was the star in the first innings with his record five-for, that had come in just five overs, before he walked off the field with a strained hamstring.
In the second essay, seamer Shannon Gabriel tore through the Bangladesh batting line-up with his fifth five-wicket haul in the format.
In the second and final Test, Bangladesh fared little better. The tourist were unable to change their fortunes as they faced a 166-run defeat, yet again inside three days.
Bangladesh batsmen's inability in handling disciplined pace bowling was exposed thoroughly here too.
@BCBtigers succumbed to their lowest Test total of 43 all-out in 18.4 overs in the first innings of the first Test match against the @westindies at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.https://t.co/hk15aIh6uz#BCB #TIGERS #CRICKET #BANGLADESH #BANGLADESHCRICKET #WINDIES #CWI— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) July 4, 2018
All-rounder Shakib al Hasan had returned as the Test captain after almost eight years and even though he finished as the highest scorer for Bangladesh with 98 runs in four innings, it did not make for great viewing.
Bangladesh cricketers following the series had said the series was played with Duke balls and it might have made the difference. Following the defeats, BCB president Nazmul Hasan came out all aggressive on the cricketers.
The BCB supremo had announced of making it mandatory for the cricketers to play a minimum amount of first-class matches in order to qualify for Test team selection, but this again, is a repeat of history.
The national cricketers are often uninterested in playing the domestic first-class tournaments because of the below-par payment structure and arrangements. Only time will tell if the BCB can work extensively on its intentions, which have become necessary for Bangladesh cricket's improvements in the longer-version.
Bangladesh 43 (Liton 25, Roach 5/8) & 144 (Nurul 64, Gabriel 5/77) lost to the West Indies 406 (Brathwaite 121, Hope 67) by an innings and 219 runs
West Indies 354 (Brathwaite 110, Hetmyer 86) & 129 (Chase 32, Shakib 6-33) beat Bangladesh 149 (Tamim 47, Shakib 32, Holder 5-44) & 168 (Shakib 54, Liton 33) by 166 runs
Player Inns Runs HS Ave 100/50
Kraigg Brathwaite (WI) 3 239 121 79.66 2/0
Shimron Hetmyer (WI) 2 104 86 52.00 0/1
Shai Hope (WI) 3 100 67 33.33 0/1
Shakib al Hasan (Bangladesh) 4 98 54 24.50 0/1
Kieran Powell (WI) 3 95 48 31.66 0/0
Player Inns Wkts BBI Ave ER
Jason Holder (WI) 4 16 6/59 8.93 3.33
Mehedi Hasan Miraz (Bangladesh) 3 10 5/93 23.90 3.22
Shannon Gabriel (WI) 4 8 5/77 17.37 3.86
Shakib al Hasan (Bangladesh) 3 8 6/33 20.50 2.48
Abu Jayed (Bangladesh) 3 7 3/38 20.42 2.72