Canada would have had mixed feelings at the end of Afghanistan's first innings. 293 is no better than par score, but should have been 50 runs fewer. Twelve overs later they would have been decidedly morose, as Hamid Hassan ripped out 4 wickets to have them 21/4. Day 2 was washed out and on return, Hassan bowled another 15 consecutive overs across two sessions, taking the first 7 wickets to fall, before Canada staged a revival of sorts, making 130. Following on, a now injured Hassan bowled half-pace but still took the first three wickets to finish with 10/85 off 27 overs. Canada worked hard to avoid the innings defeat, but they would be no recovery from that position and Afghanistan eased to a 9 wicket victory on the fourth day.
The universal consensus on this match was that Zimbabwe were much better than expected. How good that actually correlates to is hard to determine. The tour from Pakistan won't necessarily tell us much, because noone is sure how good Pakistan is - though they ought to win easily. The tour from New Zealand will make things clearer. What was certain is that they were too good for Bangladesh. What is also certain is that they played with a verve missing from better test sides, batting sensibly and long (223 overs); attacking the Bangladeshi bowling to set up a generous and attacking declaration; and bowling with purpose, if a little impatience.
Their batting remains a weakness, as their sudden first innings collapse demonstrated, although both Taylor and Masakadza made tons, and Sibanda was worthy of one. Their bowling, however, has a lot of potential, particularly Vitori, a front-on left-armer who consistently swung the ball, and Jarvis, with a McGrath like action, sans his height, athleticism and relentless accuracy. The supporting bowlers, particularly Price are steady and controlling, letting Bangladesh gift their wickets, which they happily did.
Bangladesh need to sit down and assess this performance, as their batting is good enough to make big scores, with a litle patience. Their bowling, particular their seamers were close to useless, and while Shakib is steady and capable, Taylor and Taibu demonstrated that a steady head on a good pitch is more than enough to counter an attack that looked bereft of ideas. They will probably win the ODIs with their greater attacking strength, but if they want to be taken seriously as a cricketing nation, they need to win games like this.
Shaded teams have played fewer than 2 games per season. Non-test team ratings are not comparable to test ratings as they don't play each other.
Idle Summers 10th August, 2011 01:25:53 [#]
Ratings - 10th August 2011
Ratings - 10th August 2011