Sri Lanka refused to take to the field on Saturday at the scheduled time after umpires demanded a change of ball before start of Day Three of the second Test against the West Indies in St Lucia .
Umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould wanted the ball to be changed, which implies they were not happy with the state of the ball. The Sri Lankan team did not take the umpires’ decision too kindly and refused to come out of the dressing room.
Discussions went on between match referee Javagal Srinath and Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal without much success.
West Indies were batting on 118-2 in reply to Sri Lanka’s first innings score of 253 in the second Test.
In 2006, Pakistan forfeited the Oval Test against England after umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove demanded a ball change, which implies some level of ball-tampering. Pakistan players refused to take the field after the tea break and forfeited the Test.
After India posted 474 in their first innings, Afghanistan had a torrid time with the bat as they were bowled out twice in one day.
But they were not the first country to be dismissed twice in one day. There have been other teams as well. Here we look back at those matches with the first coming way back in 1952.
INDIA – 58 and 82 v ENGLAND, MANCHESTER, 1952
BOWLED OUT TWICE: THIRD DAY
The Indians know exactly what it feels like to be bowled out twice in a single day after becoming the first nation to do so more than fifty years ago. After England declared on 347-9, only two Indians reached double figures while three were out for a duck in their first innings total of 58. The tourists fared better next time but Alec Bedsar (5-27) and Tony Lock (4-36) ripped up the batting order as India scored 82 and fell to an innings and 207 runs defeat in three days.
BOWLED OUT TWICE: SECOND DAY
The game never saw another moment like India’s collapse until 53 years later when Zimbabwe added to the list. New Zealand amassed 452-9 with Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori both scoring centuries. The latter later returned with the ball to take two scalps as only two Zimbabwe batsmen reached double digits in a dismal 59-run total. It got even worse for the hosts as Vettori added to his tally with a four-wicket haul in the second innings. Zimbabwe went on to score 99 with Hamilton Masakadza scoring 42 of those runs in the innings and 294 run loss.
ZIMBABWE – 51 and 143 v NEW ZEALAND, NAPIER, 2012
BOWLED OUT TWICE: SECOND DAY
Same teams and same result as New Zealand repeated the feat seven years on – this time on home soil. With the Kiwis scoring 495-7d, only Malcom Waller reached double figures with a top-score of 23 in their total of 51 as Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Doug Bracewell and Chris Martin took two wickets each.
The tourists fared a little better with Regis Chakabva hitting 63 but that was as good as it got as Martin added another six scalps to his tally to complete an innings and 103-run win inside two days.
Asghar Stanikzai’s men, who became the 12th Test playing nation in history, found the going extremely tough against the No1 ranked Indians in their own backyard.
While the margin of defeat will no doubt be disheartening for the debutants, they will have learned plenty from the chastening.
Here, we take a look at three things Afghanistan can learn from their inaugural Test.
SPINNERS NEED TO ADAPT TO TEST MATCH LENGTHS
Before the start of the Test, Stanikzai had created a bit of a stir by declaring that his spinners were better than their Indian counterparts. With No1 T20 bowler Rashid Khan and mystery-spin prodigy Mujeeb ur Rahman in their ranks, you could see where Stanikzai was coming from.
However, what Rashid and Mujeeb learned the hard way was that Test cricket is light years away from the world of limited-overs formats. Instead of inserting constant pressure to set up the batsmen, they overdid it by trying to do too much with every delivery. Their line and lengths in the first session of the opening day were very much T20 cricket lengths with Rashid especially erring by trying to bowl too many googlies.
They did improve in this aspect by the time the second session arrived but by then, most of the damage had already been done by Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay.
BATTING IS A GAME OF PATIENCE
While all eyes were on Afghanistan’s bowlers ahead of the Test, the batsmen sort of slipped under the radar. In the end, it was their batting which was woefully exposed in both innings with none of the batsmen.
While their totals in both innings were paltry, it was the manner in which the Afghan batsmen approached the job which left a lot to be desired. There was barely any rotation of the strike with the batsmen choosing to deal mostly in boundaries. The way Mohammad Shahzad was run-out by Hardik Pandya in the first innings while trying to pinch a quick single showed a complete lack of application.
Stanikzai’s own dismissal in the second innings after being tied down by 11 consecutive dot-balls told the whole story. The Afghan skipper charged down the wicket to Ravindra Jadeja in an attempt to break the shackles and paid the price with his wicket.
What they will need to learn the hard way is that red-ball cricket is very much a test of attrition rather than going all gung-ho.
While they do not have much first-class cricket under their belt, Afghanistan will need to learn the art of batting in a Test match soon if they want to establish themselves as a formidable unit in the format.
AFGHANISTAN NEED MORE FIRST-CLASS CRICKET
The lack of first-class cricket experience was the biggest handicap for Afghanistan in their maiden Test. With an average first-class experience of less than 15 matches, the newcomers struggled with the basics of the game.
Young Mujeeb was in fact making his first-class debut in the same game.
The Ahmed Shah Abdali four-day tournament (Afghanistan’s first-class competition) was given official recognition from the ICC only last year and has six teams participating in it.
What Stanikzai’s men desperately need is a more robust first-class structure. Though the BCCI has been helpful in this regard by announcing that all touring teams to India will play a warm-up match against Afghanistan in the future, the debutants might need a little more than that if they are to make rapid progress in the Test arena.