Dhaka pitch for second Bangladesh-New Zealand Test gets ‘unsatisfactory’ rating

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The ICC has given an “unsatisfactory” rating to the pitch used for the second Test between Bangladesh and New Zealand at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka. The venue as a result has incurred one demerit point. It is an interesting choice of word to describe the pitch; the ICC has previously used “very good”, “good”, “average”, “below average”, “poor” and “unfit” while rating pitches.
New Zealand beat Bangladesh by four wickets in one of the shortest Tests (in terms of overs) in recent memory. It was the third-shortest Test match in which 35 or more wickets have fallen in this century. Spinners took 30 of the 35 wickets that fell to bowlers in the match, which only went into the fourth day due to rain and bad light on the second and third days.

The Shere Bangla National Stadium last received a demerit point in early 2018 for a Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Test. In 2021 alone, however, the venue received seven “average” ratings in ODIs and T20Is.

Match referee David Boon, after consulting with the captains of both teams, submitted his report to the ICC expressing the concerns of the match officials.

“The outfield was very good and held up extremely well with the rain,” Boon’s report said. “However, it appeared that the pitch may have been under prepared, as it was not hard and was covered in grass clippings on day one. From the first session onwards, throughout the remainder of the match the bounce was inconsistent with numerous balls bursting the surface. Deliveries from spin bowlers often went over the batter’s shoulder when playing forward and then occasionally stayed very low.”

After the match, New Zealand captain Tim Southee described the pitch as “probably the worst wicket” he has played on. Bangladesh captain Najmul Hossain Shanto, however, defended the pitch.

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