For once the famous Chittagong dew didn’t surface at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on Tuesday and Rangana Herath, with a dry ball hand, didn’t break much sweat to help Sri Lanka record an easy win over New Zealand. With action now switching to Dhaka, the Sri Lankan spinners will be looking forward to taking the field without tucking a towel in their pockets.
But for South Africa, who play India in the semi-final, the trip to Dhaka comes with stress. With Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra pocketing a couple of Man of the Match awards, it is a no brainer that the South Africa will have encounter the turn and guile of the wily slow bowlers in their crucial game. And unlike in Chittagong, there wouldn’t the dampness of the outfield that makes the gripping of the ball difficult.
Stuart Broad the England skipper had summed up the conditions in Chittagong. He couldn’t help but be sympathetic to the Sri Lankans after Alex Hales scored a 116 off 64 to chase down a target of 190. “I feel for Sri Lanka’s bowlers with the dew. We changed about four or five balls in the innings. We’ve been fielding with wet balls at training, we should probably make it wet bars of soap I think,” Broad said in his post-match comments.
When India were bowling second against Australia on Sunday, none of the fielders or bowlers carried towels on to the field. Dhoni spoke about how the conditions in Mirpur would favour the teams from the sub-continent.
“One good thing is there is not much dew over here if you compare it to Chittagong. It makes it even for both the sides. And to some extent you may say the subcontinent teams generally have good spinners, so they can exploit the conditions better than some of the other countries,” Dhoni said.
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This last line from Dhoni clearly states the challenge for the South Africans. JP Duminy, after the team’s first practice session in Mirpur on Tuesday, did acknowledge the task his team has against India.
“We know it’s going to be a big challenge for us. Spinners have bowled exceptionally well against us. We want to put up a big performance against their spinners,” Duminy said, adding that it was a welcome change for the bowlers to arrive in Dhaka.
“You can say a bit of relief. Pretty happy to be in Dhaka and play in different conditions,” Duminy said.