Bangladesh v West Indies, 2nd Test, Khulna, 4th day

Shakib performs despite gruelling workload

Shakib Al Hasan began the day by becoming Bangladesh's highest wicket-taker in Tests; he ended it by missing a century by three runs

Mohammad Isam in Khulna

November 24, 2012

Comments: 4 | Text size: A | A

Shakib Al Hasan plays off the back foot on the off side, Bangladesh v West Indies, 2nd Test, Khulna, 4th day, November 24, 2012
Shakib Al Hasan had a bittersweet fourth day in Khulna © Associated Press
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Shakib Al Hasan was out to a rash shot off what was eventually the last ball of the fourth day in Khulna. He had made 97, and walked back admonishing himself and not his luck. His sizeable contribution, however, had prevented Bangladesh from being finished off inside four days. From 82 for 5, Shakib saved his team from embarrassment, at least for another day, and before that effort with the bat, he had become Bangladesh's highest wicket-taker in Tests, with 102 wickets.

Shakib wasn't able to speak to reporters after the day's play because he had reportedly injured his right shin and needed a scan. A man of few words, it is unlikely Shakib would have been able to convey what he felt after breaking Mohammad Rafique's record of 100 Test wickets, and after missing his third century.

Not long after he had completed his 52nd over, Shakib was needed in the middle once again, because of what transpired in the first 45 minutes of Bangladesh's innings. The standout aspect of Shakib's innings was how he did not get flustered by the happenings around him. After watching senior batsman Shahriar Nafees and his captain Mushfiqur Rahim fall to terrible shots, Shakib began a 144-run association with Nasir Hossain.

As the day wore on, however, and Shakib neared his hundred, he may have got more anxious. Hossain said later that his partner had been eager to reach his century. If Shakib hadn't fallen when he did, there may have been an extra over before stumps were called. Shakib had, it seemed, given himself little time to reach his milestone.

He had been patiently rebuilding Bangladesh's innings, and then moved from 72 to 86 with two straight hits, a four and a six, and a clipped four to fine leg, all off Sunil Narine. After moving into the nineties with a streaky boundary off Fidel Edwards, Shakib played six more deliveries before giving it away to Veerasammy Permaul. He reacted with hurt rather than the sheer anger when he fell for 89 in Mirpur. It was the third time he'd been dismissed in the 90s, to go with an unbeaten 96.

"Shakib Al Hasan became what he is by playing like this," Hossain said. "There's a lot to learn from Shakib, and I don't think anyone else is able to give such services to Bangladesh. I think Shakib is mentally very strong.

"When Shakib bhai hit [Sunil] Narine in that over, I understood he was willing to complete the hundred today. Before that over I had told him to just pick the singles and reach the hundred. A lot of things work in your mind when you reach that stage."

Despite the dismissal for 97 or because of it, it is Shakib's bowling that stood out on the day, as he completed a milestone he had been waiting for, for 11 months. By dismissing Permaul, Shakib went past left-arm spinner Rafique, who led Bangladesh's attack between 2000 and 2008, as his country's top wicket-taker. Shakib took over the mantle of leader immediately after Rafique's retirement and has been similarly over-bowled. Yet he has ensured the quality of his batting has not been compromised.

He had been struggling with the ball during this series, so when he got his first wicket in his 49th over, there was a lot of relief. Only Shakib could have waited so long for his wicket, and he began the fourth day with new vigor and a lot of flight. Two balls later, he had Sammy caught at slip, his 100th wicket, and in his next over he had Permaul caught at short cover. Narine's wicket gave Shakib figures of 4 for 37 from 14 overs in the morning session.

"I didn't think of celebrating 100 wickets. I was just relieved that I finally started getting wickets today," Shakib said. "I was forcing myself to bowl better today."

The responsibilities Shakib performs for Bangladesh can be a drain on physical and mental strength. The size of his workload also poses an injury risk. Shakib, however, will have to carry on.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Bangladesh

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (November 25, 2012, 7:18 GMT)

I don't know what to say about BD now.

Posted by aalhasankh on (November 25, 2012, 2:36 GMT)

Shakib is the only Test standard player in the Bangladesh cricket team.He needs at least four more players of his standard to take Bangladesh to the next level.He is being over worked ruthlessly and may end up exhausted prematurely.His left knee is already affected and needs surgery because of bowling too much and now the right shin.What does he have to learn from people like Shivnarayan?Do they have to bowl like him for two continuous days and then come to rescue the team with his bat within minutes of finishing with the ball?Give Shakib some relief and some respect.All he has got so far from the cricket bosses of Bangladesh is humiliation and advice to be like this,that or the other.He was dismissed from the captain's post and given a public dressing down by the then Cricket chief Mr.Kamal.Give Shakib some relief and lot of respect.

Posted by SapnerJadukar on (November 24, 2012, 21:05 GMT)

World's no 1 need's to learn more how to be there when it matters. Should not pack up in the last ball while he could come next day after a nice break. Did't do justice to himself and the country. Just the proof of immature cricketer.

Posted by Fogu on (November 24, 2012, 20:31 GMT)

Shakib is great for BD but still has a lot to learn about playing test cricket. Ones and twos work very well in tests and can demoralize the fielding team. Rotating strikes is critical. 4's & 6's should be for bad balls. It is a long game and scoring in a hurry is not necesary. Shakib along with Tamim needs to learn that to adjust their game for tests and take BD to the next level. They should learn from the great Shiv on the opposing team.

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