TELFORD VICE, Cape Town
PLAYED eight, lost four – to the rain, that is. SA’s test series in Bangladesh has become that sorry, soggy story.
Saturday was to have been the third day of the second test in Dhaka. Instead, it was the fourth day of the rubber to be lost in its entirety to the elements.
Having consigned the second day to the same squelchy fate, cyclone Komen just kept on comin’ on Saturday. And Sunday? More rain: an 80% chance.
Not that this wasn’t always on the cards. The monsoon has been sweeping through south Asia between July and September for an eon and more. You would think the suits would know better than to plan a cricket tour there for this time of year. You would, of course, be wrong.
If SA had dealt with Bangladesh as they should have done this wouldn’t be too serious an issue. But, after the visitors’ shambolic performance in the one-day series, the tests were their only shot at redemption.
In Chittagong SA were showing signs of remembering they are a damn fine team when the rain arrived and never left to put paid to the last two days’ play. At stumps in Dhaka on Thursday SA reduced Bangladesh to 246/8 by taking 5/92 in the third session.
But a drawn series, whether the weather is to blame or not, will not spare SA the full focus of the inquisition that has already started and must be concluded before they jet off to India at the end of September.
And what will SA have to measure their progress against? Two T20s and three one-day internationals against New Zealand in winter. Suits? WTF?