For the first time ever, Bangladesh managed to ensure the second round of any tournament. A 116 run win looks huge, and it is the largest marginal win Bangladesh had ever managed. This does not, however, tell it all. I had the opportunity to watch Bangladeshi cricket live after four years. Unfortunately, there was not a huge visible difference in batting from the last match I experienced. Against a relatively weak Hong Kong team, the batsmen never seemed to overwhelm the bowlers. This is bad, but is it bad enough to give some biased people an opportunity to degrade our win? A closer look at the match says it "no, not at all".
It had been raining not only in the morning, but also during the night before the match. Even though the game started on time, the pitch was not ideal. The swing of the ball at the beginning of the first innings and the lack of it during the later half of the Hong Kong bowling testify to that notion. Rahul Sharma, after winning the toss, took the opportunity to put Bangladesh into bat. His bowlers did a decent job. They depended on the swing completely and never even try to use the pace. Now, in a situation like that a score of 221 is not that bad by any standard.
In the absence of a statistical backing, it seemed to me that more runs for Bangladesh innings came from behind the stamp than from the front of it. All the top order batsmen continuously glided the ball toward thirdman or silly points. This tendency was severely criticized by the commentators. Well, it seems to me that they forgot to consider a factor here, namely the Hong Kong factor. Playing against a debutant team is not an easy business because it exposes the opponent to a complete set of new players and reading these new players is a tedious job.
Besides, we saw that this style of batting was working as the tigers identified weaknesses at those locations and were making good use of it to pile on runs. The Hong Kong fielders found it hard to stop those runs behind the stump. Well, there were two wickets that fall because of this particular playing style, but who can say that they would not fall otherwise? Moreover, in ODI, getting the runs is more important and it does not really matter how they come by.
There is, however one particular point needed to be consider. If our batsmen keep playing like that against Pakistan or any test team for that matter, it would be suicidal. If they can recognize this, then there is nothing terribly wrong with our batting in this match. If we could managed to score 30 more runs in that pitch, it would have been terrific. But we have to keep in mind that asking for everything perfect is too much to ask for from our team. They did bowl well. Debutant Rajjak did a decent job, we had only one dropped catch and above all we did won the match by a huge margin.
There is not much to talk about the second innings actually because everything went as expected. But there is one place where we need some extra attention. There had been several quick singles. Most of them were risky, but we did complete the runs. If Hong Kong were more experienced then we might have more troubles from run outs. We need to make sure that we do not repeat things like gliding the ball and taking risky singles against more experience test teams.
The author is a distinguished member of banglacricket forum. He goes by the nick AgentSmith - editors.