With the Indian and Australian teams taking a breather after two back to back Tests, the focus was on the Tests in New Zealand, West Indies and Sri Lanka. Like I have mentioned earlier, with Tests going on all round the world, the die-hard cricket supporter who wants to watch as much cricket as possible will have some sleepless nights ahead if he starts watching the Test in New Zealand and finishes by watching what has happened in the Caribbean Isles.
It will cover exactly 24 hours of non-stop cricket. The problem he will have is when the second Test between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka starts, for it will overlap a bit with the third Test in Mohali between India and Australia.
Bangladesh did superbly by overhauling Sri Lanka's big total and going on to take a lead as well. That happened to a great extent because the talented but underachieving Mohammad Ashraful batted splendidly to get his highest score, while getting past his own highest score, which was also Bangladesh’s highest individual score.
That of course lasted barely a few hours as the skipper Mushfiqur went past it and got the first double hundred for Bangladesh. Mushfiqur has promoted himself up the order and has taken the responsibility of leading the team with aplomb. He is not given to making fanciful statements which can backfire and is also a very competitive player.
It sure was a batting paradise at Galle, as no less than eight centuries were scored with Kumara Sangakkara getting a hundred in each innings and the match ended in a draw once Bangladesh overhauled Sri Lanka’s score. That will be a big psychological advantage when they play the second Test because Bangladesh's overseas record has not been good and even a draw is an achievement.
Shikhar Dhawan joined another left-handed debutant New Zealander Hamish Rutherford in registering a century in his first innings in Test cricket. Hamish, son of Ken, the former New Zealand skipper, got his last week and in a way made up for his father who had got a pair in a disastrous Test debut. New Zealand gave England a good wakeup call and it took all of Alastair Cook’s determination and Nick Compton’s century to save the Test match.
Shane Shillingford’s spin rolled over Zimbabwe easily in the first Test match and gave his teammates a couple of days off. Although it was only against Zimbabwe, it is good to see the West Indians back to their winning ways.
The CEAT International cricketer of the week is Mushfiqur Rahim for getting the first double ton by a Bangladeshi batsman.
Professional Management Group