Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Updated: Sunday, February 22, 2004
|Hours after the 4th day|
|With apologies to Masum Billah. As I write this, the Bangladesh innings lies
in ruins. The tumbling wickets left in its wake a horde of despondent and morose
Until the start of the Bangladesh 2nd innings, things were going according to our pre-match prognostications.
So far so good. The ever hopeful Bangladesh fans had correctly predicted this scenario. While a win seemed implausible, it did not seem impossible. Our middle order had shown some steel. Mohammad Ashraful and Rajin Saleh seems to be in form. Mushfiqur Rahman and Manjural Islam Rana batted most ably. Habibul Bashar cannot fail again. Even the most pessimistic and cynical Bangladesh cricket fan must have harbored in his/her heart some tiny glimmer of hope.
353 runs in 104 overs.
An honorable draw seemed a reasonable expectation. We have shown we can bat through three whole sessions. We have managed to stem the unending stream of innings defeats. The sun in the Bangladesh flag shines a little brighter.
Then it happened.
One after another the Bangladeshi top-order marched back to the pavilion. A stream of rash shots (playing across, slashing and pulling), one unlucky dodgy decision (Mushfiqur's caught behind) and we were staring down the gun barrel at yet another humiliating defeat.
At least, Manjural Islam Rana and Rajin Saleh stemmed the rot and saw us through to stumps.
Still one run to go before we go past the lowest innings score in Test Cricket (New Zealand's 2nd innings score of 26 vs. England in 1955). It looks like we may edge past this, but the 4th day has been one for the record books.
It started well with two good ones for us:
And now for the bad ones:
We are still in line to make new entries into the Bangladesh record books. Our lowest innings score eclipsing the 87 we scored in our 2nd innings vs. the West Indies at Chittagong in 2002. That same innings had 6 ducks. We may yet exceed that number.
Let us hope the 5th day dawns brightly for us. I mean that purely in a metaphorical sense. Barring miracles, rain is our only hope.
Acknowledgement: Some of the data obtained courtesy of rec.sport.cricket (David North) and Cricinfo StatsGuru.
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