Sports, Cricket

Domingo defends decision to bowl first

Published : 02 Apr 2022 12:39 AM

Head coach Russell Domingo admitted on Thursday that Bangladesh's decision to bowl in the first Test against South Africa at Kingsmead was prompted by uncertainty about batting first in potentially difficult conditions.

Captain Mominul Haque decided to send South Africa in on a well-grassed pitch after winning the toss.

"Bangladesh are trying to find and improve their Test match cricket," said Domingo, a former South Africa head coach.

"There is still some uncertainty regarding batting on wickets that maybe offer a little bit of pace and bounce. It's something we're trying to address as a coaching team, to have the confidence that when it is tough and tricky to maybe be willing to front up and bat."

Domingo said statistics over the past 10 years only slightly favoured batting first. He said a green pitch and early cloud cover were factors in favour of Thursday's decision.

He admitted that Bangladesh bowled poorly in conceding 60 runs in 13 overs in the first hour at the start of a 113-run opening partnership between South African captain Elgar and Sarel Erwee, who made 41.

"It's a very inexperienced bowling attack," said Domingo.

"They were obviously a bit nervous and maybe excited and too eager to bowl on a wicket they thought would help them. But they were superb after lunch."

South Africa batted for the second day in a row from a strong position in the Durban Test. Temba Babuma and Kyle Vereina were unbeaten on wickets for South Africa, who finished the first day at 233 for four.

On Friday’s morning's session, fast bowler Khaled Ahmed brought Bangladesh back in the game with two wickets in a row in the sixth over. Khaled raised the possibility of a hat-trick by playing the fourth Test of his career in place of Shoriful Islam.

Khaled started the morning session with the last ball of the unfinished over of the previous day. Then Mehedi Hasan Miraz and Khaled were dealt by Vereina and Bavuma.

At the end of 80 overs, Bangladesh took the new ball in the next over, Khaled was hit by two fours to indicate dominance. But Khaled showed magic in his next over. In the 63rd over, Vereina fell victim to lbw with his second ball. The ball fell into the seam and went inside.

New batsman Wayne Molder was completely defeated by Khaled's next ball. Outswing delivery was handed over to Mahmudul Hasan, the ball took an edge and Mahmudul jumped to his left and took a catch. Proteas were 262/6 after 90 overs.

Bangladesh were without opening batsman Tamim Iqbal because of illness and left-arm fast bowler Shoriful Islam was ruled out because of an ankle injury.

Domingo said Bangladesh could not risk Shoriful after they decided to pick an extra batsman, leaving them with only four front-line bowlers in the absence of all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who has returned to Bangladesh because of family illness.

The start was delayed by 35 minutes after sightscreen malfunctions at both ends, with ground staff struggling to cover both screens with white cloth.

The umpires decided to move back the playing times by half an hour but it was not possible to complete a full day's play at South Africa's most easterly Test ground where bad light is often a problem.