Bangladesh’s greatest Test win

While Bangladesh has made good progress in limited-over cricket in recent years, the just-concluded Test at Mirpur is historic. To understand this clearly, we look at the the team’s 8 Test victories:

bangladesh-test-history

This is their first victory against a full-strength “regular” team, not a fellow minnow such as Zimbabwe-even if it was a 3-0 sweep as in 2014.

And we don’t count the two wins against a West Indies third XI which included many debutants who (apart from Kemar Roach) vanished without a trace. The stand-in captain Floyd Reifer witnessed clean-sweep losses in the Test as well as the ODI series. In the course of the series he talked about his team improving. A journalist asked him, “Have you been smoking something that sounds like your name?”

(Those familiar with American crime novels would know that “reefer” is one of the numerous synonyms for marijuana).

It should be remembered that Bangladesh came very close to winning their first Test back in 2003, but were thwarted by the last-wicket pair of Inzamam (138*) and debutant Yasir Ali (1*): http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/64045.html

Yasir Ali never played a Test again, but much was heard of another debutant Salman Butt in years to come.

 

Refrigerated trains-an afterthought

For many years, refrigerated rail wagons and ships have been carrying freight across the world while refrigerated containers have come in more recently. The generic term for them is “reefers”.

Anyone familiar with 20th century American slang would know that reefer is another popular slang term for marijuana. It does seem to have a remarkable number of synonyms such as ganja, grass, Mary Jane, pot, cannabis etc. There is a well known ‘public service film’ produced on behalf of the US government in the 1930s called “Reefer Madness”, which film historians consider to be a rather clumsy attempt at educating the young about the dangers of drugs.

It has been nominated for awards for “worst film of all time”, though there are more deserving candidates such as “Plan 9 from Outer Space”, “Manos-the Hands of Fate” and “The Beast of Yucca Flats”. There was also a companion film called “Sex Madness” which has a similar reputation. You can see these films of ill-repute on Youtube.

Someone in the US started the Razzie Awards (for raspberry) for worst film, worst actor etc exactly on the lines of the Oscar awards. This continues to thrive. Some stalwarts like Sharon Stone have won multiple awards. Bollywood caught on to this later and someone started the “Ghanta awards” which are still awarded each year. The initial symbol of this was a prominent Bollywood villain in the nude with a strategically placed ghanta (though this picture seems to have vanished from the net now). Well, it was photoshopped from this picture:

http://s742.photobucket.com/user/veerupaaji/media/top_rapists_bolly_55.jpg.html

Also see this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghanta_Awards

There is also a rival Golden Kela award ceremony.

Back to reefers and the unfortunately named West Indian Test cricketer named Floyd Reifer. (Yes, you can see a PJ coming but this time it was not devised by me). He started off his Test career (as a specialist batsman) with 29 versus Sri Lanka in 1997. That was to be his career best score. His Test career seemed to be over in 1999 by when he had made a total of 63 runs at 7.87 (not too different from Vizzy’s career average). Even the more nerdish followers of Test cricket thought they had seen the last of him, although he continued to score heavily in domestic cricket.

Over 10 years later, he got another opportunity to play for the West Indies and that too as a captain when, in one of their periodic crises, the WI first XI and most of the second XI decided to boycott a 2-Test series against Bangladesh. A hurriedly put together third XI took the field. The captain made some brave speeches about his team beating Bangladesh in these circumstances, prompting local journalists to ask if he had been “smoking something sounding like his name”. Here you can see the sum total of his career:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/52808.html

As you know, Bangladesh won the series 2-0 and the captain and most of the West Indies players of that team vanished without a trace. Their only new face from this series who is still around is Kemar Roach.