2019 Cricket World Cup, Game 23, Bangladesh v West IndiesContinue reading
2019 Cricket World Cup, Game 23, Bangladesh v West IndiesContinue reading
2019 Cricket World Cup, Game 5, Bangladesh v South AfricaContinue reading
One of the few things that people agree upon about the lyrics of The Fall’s Hit the North is that one of the first lines is “my cat says eeeeee-ack”.
So what can we agree upon about the South’s hitting of the North’s bowlers today? That it was more successful than the North’s hitting of the South’s bowlers, we suppose.
As for the relative northern- and southernness of these supposedly representative sides, we remain unimpressed. The birthplaces of the North’s batsmen – Hong Kong, Kent, Transvaal, Cumbria, Shrewsbury, Bristol – don’t hint that too many of them would pass our patented ‘butter-bath’ test.
Because what is the supposed North-South divide about, if not monophthongs?
Elsewhere, SHAKIB AL HASAN earned himself a bit of impulsive upper case usage after making a hundred and giving Bangladesh a first innings lead over Sri Lanka. He’s one to watch. Mark our words.
New Zealand and South Africa are also Testing each other. Looking at the scores so far, we’re hoping the pitch is hinting that it might be the kind of flattener on which Nathan Astle did his thing. You never know.
Sometimes we forget that you haven’t all been reading this website since day dot. It’s been over a decade since we tipped Shakib al Hasan for greatness so chances are a great many of you won’t know what a big deal it is that he made a Test double hundred against New Zealand this week.
If Shakib’s still not exactly a household name, he was all but unknown back when we tipped him. We’re talking Cricinfo-didn’t-even-know-his name obscure. Was he Sakib al Hasan, Shakib al Hasan or Saqibul Hasan? Having already used up our full allocation of precognition, we initially went with Sakib al Hasan before switching to Saqibul Hasan when it seemed more likely that was the one that would stick.
Cricinfo also had him down as a medium-pacer back then. We did at least work out that that one was wrong.
After 217 off 276 balls, Shakib’s Test batting average is now 41.39. That’s unspectacular in isolation, but combine it with a bowling average of 32.37 and it’s actually really rather special.
Shakib also saw fit to draw his innings to a close by succumbing to another Cricketer of the Realm, The Great Neil Wagner. Test innings don’t come much better than that.
Well that was easily the tensest sporting moment of the last 20 years. Possibly ever. There he was, on 99, and Cricinfo refreshed several times with no change to his score. Surely this moment couldn’t be ripped away from us so cruelly? We were absolutely on tenterhooks.
But huzzah! After the next refresh, his score did change and Mominul Haque has another Test hundred. They’ll be dancing in the streets of Cox’s Bazar tonight. There’d be dancing here too if it weren’t for the fact that we don’t dance and wouldn’t dream of celebrating anything in such a ridiculous way, let alone the achievements of a 22-year-old Bangladeshi batsman whose career we’re following largely because we think his name sounds kind of funny.
Mominul is currently batting with Shakib al Hasan who newer readers may not know we’ve been following since 2006. That should probably be considered a warning that Mominul coverage is unlikely to die down any time soon.
Okay, we’ve had a slight about-turn. We’ve decided that Bangladesh aren’t certain to lose the Asia Cup final to Pakistan. We’ve decided they’re definitely going to win instead.
This sudden heartfelt belief has come about because we spent four minutes thinking about Shakib Al Hasan yesterday and we remembered how important it is to have pointless and illogical obsessions in life.
Let’s try and get a handle on Shakib Al Hasan’s unparalleled genius using some facts. Other websites do facts and people read them, so there are no excuses – you have to keep reading.
At the age of 24, Shakib Al Hasan has taken 158 one-day international wickets. That is a lot. Do you know how many England players have taken more than 158 one-day international wickets in the whole of history?
At the age of 24, Shakib Al Hasan has already outdone Eddie Hemmings, Alan Mullally and scores of other household names. Only Andrew Flintoff, James Anderson and Darren Gough can boast of having taken more wickets and they are all completely ace.
Read it and weep, Phillip Defreitas.
At the age of 24, Shakib Al Hasan has hit 3,567 one-day international runs. That is a lot. Do you know how many England players have scored more than 3,567 one-day international runs in the whole of history.
Okay, that’s not quite as impressive, but luminaries such as Wayne Larkins and Vikram Solanki are still trailing in our boy’s wake.
Read it and weep, Jamie Dalyrymple.
It should be noted that Andrew Flintoff, James Anderson and Darren Gough have all scored fewer runs than Shakib, so he wins at cricket. He is the best of the cricketers.
This is why Bangladesh will win the Asia Cup. If they don’t, it’s because one of the other ten players has ruined it for everybody with his rank incompetence.
Four years after we tipped him for greatness, Shakib Al Hasan hit his first Test hundred. New Zealand were on the receiving end and while they won the match, their bowlers took some stick.
After dawdling along on nought for an age, Shakib Al Hasan suddenly engaged the long handle and walloped 40 runs in 13 balls. His hundred eventually took 127 balls, which is pretty remarkable considering the fact that he was on eight after 40 balls.
Playing conditions in New Zealand are as unfamiliar to the Bangladeshis as conditions can get, yet they’re scoring hundreds and improving with every match.
Bangladesh can score runs and take wickets and those two things are coinciding more and more frequently. In home conditions their performance will be a notch better and someone’s going to get it fairly soon.
We have watched our national side for long enough to know that if there’s an embarrassment out there for the taking, England aren’t the kind of side who are going to resist grasping at it. Even now, they’re probably fashioning some sort of net to guarantee they can collect it and add it to their already sizable collection.
Not sure we’ve got Imran Khan or Garry Sobers on the cards, but it’s not looking bad.
As a cricket-writer, we’re worried there’ll be no words left in a few years time, because they’ll all have been eaten by Bangladesh criticisers. Shakib Al Hasan will make people backtrack until they’ve returned to the womb. He is the best one-day all-rounder in the world and he is 22. He is not going to get any worse at any point in the next decade. Dwell on that.
Played a bit. Been solid. Time to push on, Dwayne.
The most dangerous batsmen are those who can destroy an attack but don’t feel that they have to. For Dhoni it’s all about the runs. He’ll get them in singles, he’ll get them in ugly works to leg. He doesn’t care. He also doesn’t care about his average. He just wants to win matches.
No, seriously. Matt Prior has been one of the best batsmen in England for quite a while and being as everyone seems to have gone a bit quiet about his keeping, that must be acceptable as well. Despite his hairline, he’s actually 27. He could prove a very important player in the next few years.
Don’t talk him up? Tough shit. We’re starting to believe that he can bowl, which is the main thing, while he’s got bags of time to sort out the batting, which has largely been okay anyway.
We’d sooner Shakib Al Hasan had signed for a first division county, but don’t underestimate the significance of a Bangladeshi clambering aboard the treadmill.
It means that while they might be three-and-a-half years late, Worcestershire have cottoned on to the fact that this is a good player – despite the fact that he’s from Bangladesh. Maybe it’s because international batting averages are routinely qualified with: ‘but if you take out Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, his average falls to 36’. Bangladeshi cricket is there to be overlooked, it seems.
Worcestershire will do well and Shakib will learn a lot. He’s still only 22, so this is probably going to come back to haunt England one day.
Not top hats and rabbits magic – the good kind.
Shakib Al Hasan took 1-24 against Zimbabwe today. Then he hit 105 not out off 69 balls by way of an encore. Almost imperceptibly, he’s becoming a top all-rounder and Bangladesh’s first superstar.
He was even named Test player of the year by The Wisden Cricketer this month, which is quite an accolade. It says something that the article starts “Who is Shakib Al Hasan?” even though it’s a full three-and-a-half years since we said he was mint.
We’re pretty certain that we can justifiably claim to be ahead of the curve on this one, which makes up for mobile phones and Seinfeld – both of which we were about eight years late on.