It's Canberra, 6 AM and I'm freezing my toes off, thinking of the sunny Caribbean
and some very happy Tigers.
OK, so Bangladesh caught worse than the West Indies bowled. Never the less,
the West Indies are still four for less than 200, chasing four hundred. Lara,
Sarwan and Chanderpaul are all out. The odds are very strong that Bangladesh
will have to bat again.
Guys. Stop. Go get a glass of water. Then go read that again.
Bangladesh are dominating this test match. Chris Gayle is providing what cricket
journalists will call "a determined rearguard action that saved the West
Indies the indignity of having to follow on".
Just as a thought-exercise, flip the two innings charts ... Windies bat first,
ton from Lara, Chanderpaul gets 80, one of their bowlers gets a slogging fourteen-boundary
ton. Bangladeshis then bat, and get to 4-193, with Omar being the rock with about
half of that. Pretty credible, huh ? You'd read that and go 'we've seen worse.
Good innings by Omar. I should post about how Bangladesh are continuing to improve.
This is not the performance of a third-tier team'.
Bangladesh's standards have gone up. From here, they can win and should win
- and they know it. Good first innings score (quick, someone, tell me what percentage
of bat-first first innings are >400) and the oppositions top order mostly
gone for less than 200, with lots of time left.
In the long run, this is the benchmark for Bangladesh's batting - get 400,
with one ton from the batsmen, and some runs from the tail.
For the bowlers, the odds are very strong that this flow of wickets will continue,
and that the West Indies will be all out for 330-odd, either late in the tea
session or early tomorrow.
The lesson the coach will tell the bowlers is "we dropped catches, and
we still cleaned up their top order for less than 200. You boys are good enough
to be here".
If the Windies do get all out for 330-odd, it will give Bangladesh a day to
bat, and if they score at 3 per over, then that's a target of 340 to get, and
2 and a bit sessions to get it in.
Then we see how they bat on the last day, against Rafique and all the rest.
Bangladesh are following the Australian script - bat fast, get 400, and try
and keep wickets flowing. Then bat again, and give them a target that they can
almost get to. Then get them all out on the last day.
Bangladesh can win, and should win, from here. And if they do, it wont be a
streaky win, anchored in a session of unexpected brilliance, but it will be
a win of many sessions, each of which provided a small advantage, that together
Ian Whitchurch lives in Canberra, Australia. He works as a promoter in
the oil and gas industry, and can be contacted at email@example.com