Sohan shows how it's done
The first and second session on day four of the St Lucia Test was devoid of any action as rain saw play begin five hours later than the start time at 10 am. The Tigers were already six down when play started in the afternoon at 3 pm and then Nurul Hasan Sohan lit up the day's play with an incredible 60 not out. While the majority of the Tigers' top-order had lacked so much in terms of application, Sohan showed how things were supposed to be done in West Indies and he did it under more precarious circumstances than his teammates.
Starting the day at 132 for six, Sohan looked at ease with Mehedi Hasan Miraz at the other end. Wet outfield led to a few punch or cuts not producing more runs as he showed his flare in the early exchanges. Mehedi however departed when following a short delivery from Alzarri Joseph and was caught behind in the third over of the day. From that point on, Sohan showed real intent and application.
He swivelled to a length delivery from Kemar Roach and pulled it over mid on for a six in the 40th over. Having worked on his balance over the past few years and power-hitting, Sohan showed real merit in trying to preserve his wicket while keep scoring against the older ball. Most importantly, he showed the nuances of handling the short deliveries after getting out to one in the first innings.
It was evident he was seeing the ball really well and following from his knock of 64 in the first Test, he was gaining in confidence. He manufactured a few flat batted pulls off Alzarri short stuff to keep scoring.
Jayden Seales picked up tailenders Ebadot Hossain and Shoriful Islam in the 42nd over. Sohan's task got more difficult and he tried to protect number 11 Khaled Ahmed from facing more deliveries during the latter part of the innings. He hit Alzarri for a four, fashioning an aerial shot wide of cover against a short delivery to bring up his fifty off 40 deliveries and avoided an innings defeat for the Tigers. Next ball he whacked Alzarri coming over the wicket through mid on for six. Seales bowled an incredible 45th over, as Sohan refused singles. Coming to the last delivery, Khaled got away too far from his crease and as Sohan refused the single, John Campbell at point effected a direct hit to run out Khaled thus ending Bangladesh's innings at 186 all out. With a lead of just 12, Bangladesh saw Windies openers finish the task as the hosts romped to a 10-wicket win.
Sohan's refusal to give up under pressure should however send a strong message to the dressing room. Skipper Shakib Al Hasan had said after the first Test at Antigua that 'other batters should learn from Sohan's performance'. "I hope they will learn from Nurul and play well in the next match," Shakib had added. However, that reality did not transpire in the second Test at St Lucia as Tigers lose series 2-0.