Youngest Test side Bangladesh cricket team set for century milestone

Bangladesh, the most recent nation to receive Test status, will become the 10th nation to complete a century of Test matches when facing Sri Lanka on Wednesday.

Bangladesh were officially recognised as a Test side on November 10, 2,000 and has taken 16 years and 12 days — the least amount of time among all 10 Test-playing countries — to reach the landmark figure.

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The first Test was against India at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka while the 100th will be played at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo as the second of a two-Test series which is part of Bangladesh’s tour of Sri Lanka.

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Previously, the quickest nation to a hundred Tests was Sri Lanka, having done so in 18 years and 121 days; a record which will be usurped by Bangladesh.

In comparison with the first century of Tests, Bangladesh has a poor record compared to other nations, especially in the early stages when they attempted to find their feet in the format.

A Bangladeshi cricket supporter, with his face painted in the style of a tiger, waves his national flag during the fourth day of the opening Test match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle on March 10, 2017. (AFP)
Bangladesh have the second-lowest win ratio when compared with first 99 Tests of all nations.

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Bangladesh have only won eight of their first 99, which is only better than New Zealand’s record of seven victories. India had won 10 while England had the most wins having succeeded in 45 matches.

Their 76 losses do not reflect well either, being the most suffered by any team in its first 99 Tests. The remaining 15 matches ended as draws.

Their first Test win came in their 35th attempt against Zimbabwe at Chittagong in 2005. They had lost 31 and drawn three matches before their first victory.

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They didn’t win another match until July 2009 when they beat a severely depleted West Indies team — the Windies First XI refused to play in protest to wage disputes with the West Indies Cricket Board — in both matches of a two-Test series.

It was Bangladesh’s first overseas Test win which gave base to remarkably improved performances.

Bangladesh had only won a single match in their first 58 Tests but the wins in West Indies in 2009 launched them to seven victories in their 41 matches since.

Shakib Al Hasan was praised for his performance against West Indies and was named The Wisden Cricketer’s “Test Player of the Year” for 2009. He was also named in the World Test XI in the 2009 ICC Awards, becoming the first Bangladeshi player to receive the honour.

Bangladesh superstar Shakib Al Hasan delivers a ball during a practice session at The P. Sara Oval Cricket Stadium in Colombo on March 13, 2017. Bangladesh play their 100th Test on March 15 against Sri Lanka. (AFP)
Shakib Al Hasan leads the list of Bangladeshi players to have been named man of the match in Tests having won the award five times. Mushfiqur Rahim and Mohammed Ashraful have won it thrice each, while Tamim Iqbal and Mominul Haque have two wins. In total, Bangladesh players have been named man of the match on 25 occasions.

Bangladesh have fielded 85 different players in their first 99 Tests, with Ashraful having represented the nation the most. His 63 Tests outrank that of Mushfiqur Rahim (53) and Habibul Bashar (50), in the list of most capped Test cricketers for Bangladesh.