SA vs Ban, 1st Test, Mominul Haque

Surrendering to spin in overseas conditions didn’t sit well with Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque, who has taken the responsibility of the team to bounce back in the Port Elizabeth Test which begins on Friday. Chasing 274 on the last day in Durban, the visitors were bowled out for just 53, their second-lowest Test score, with Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer sharing all ten wickets.

Bangladesh lost three wickets late on the fourth evening but there was hope that Mushfiqur Rahim could lead some sort of recovery on the last day. But that was not to be. Mushfiqur was the first to go on the fifth morning, when he was trapped lbw by Maharaj, and the collapse followed.

“I think it was a big crime on our part to give wickets to spinners on foreign soil,” Mominul said. “You simply cannot give wickets to spinners when you are on tour. You have to score runs against spinners. I think it is my fault. I couldn’t score in either innings. It is nothing but a total batting failure. I think we just couldn’t handle the pressure.”

At one stage, Bangladesh were threatening to break their record of lowest Test score of 43, but for a couple of big hits from Najmul Hossain Shanto and Taskin Ahmed. South Africa’s spin duo bowled accurately, preying on the defensive mindset of the Bangladesh batters. It was a surprise to see a batting unit bred on spinning tracks to succumb to spin so easily on a good pitch.

Mominul himself had an inauspicious 50th Test match, making only 0 and 2. He has scored just one fifty in the last ten innings, a rare downturn in his Test career. He wasn’t worried, though, and was already looking to turn the corner.

“I don’t think the captaincy is weighing down my batting form. I am not worried about it. I don’t think I am in bad form. I will be back on track after a good innings. I am not too worried,” he said.

Mominul was more concerned about convincing his team that they had only one bad day in Durban, and that shouldn’t bother them for the second Test.

“We can certainly bounce back from this defeat,” he said. “We played well in four out of the five days. We batted poorly in the last few overs yesterday and on the fifth day. There are enough positives to take from this Test match, to suggest to me that we can bounce back easily in the next game.

“[Mahmudul Hasan] Joy’s 137 was a really good innings. Litton [Das], Rabbi (Yasir Ali) and [Mehidy Hasan] Miraz also batted well. The fast bowlers did really well. Miraz was outstanding. We didn’t play badly for all five days. We just had a bad fifth day, but as everyone knows, it is difficult to get back from a Test after you slip once. I think we can come back into the series by being mentally strong.”

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