Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Updated: Monday, January 17, 2005
Final day thoughts

Dr. Mahmudul Huq Khan

Wow, I slept so badly last night as Taibu carried on and on. I thought I would be depressed, with a frigid morning weather forecasted (where I live) and expecting a score of 70/4 or something. Neither was the weather that bad nor was Bangladesh?s position. Now our team charges me all up for the final fight on the 5th day. I have read most of the threads regarding our chances, Whatmore?s strategy, and what not, and below I assess the situation as I see it.

There have been some positives for us in this match, of which Zimbabwe had upper hand most of the time. There has been the continuous success of Enamul who has created some records in the process. We have already achieved 25% of our target score and that too without a loss. That is a big plus. As we know, this is already the highest opening partnership for Bangladesh in test cricket. Surely, Zimbabwe will come out with all that they have. And that means the bowling of Hondo only. Their spinners are not the greatest, so basically we need to be careful about the reverse swing.

We need to approach as if our target was 270 something with 10 wickets and 90 overs to get them. That is very doable. But those who know cricket will also realize that there is enough time and overs to lose as well. In a post yesterday, I said that I did not care how, but we need to stick it out there and I am so glad that our openers have already done the first part successfully. If we were to win, we would not necessarily need to fire on all cylinders, but more importantly, we would need someone like Taibu, to just be there. That could come from Javed. He needs to stay put like crazy glue to the wicket. If he fails, then Rajin can take up the role. Rajin is also in good form lately. We need nothing out of the ordinary from Bashar, Ashraful and Aftab. They just need not to throw away their wicket chasing balls outside the off stump or dancing down the wicket. If boundaries do not come, take singles and twos when possible. We are lucky that our tailenders almost always score some runs. But this time let us not leave too much for them. Runs are due from some players like Aftab, Ashraful and Pilot. In the end it does not matter who does and does?nt score, as long as we cross the final line.

My target from session to session would be like this: by lunch another 80-90 for 1-2 wickets down; between lunch and tea another 80-90 for the loss of another 1-2 wickets. At the top of the final session we will have around 90-110 to chase with about 6-8 wickets for the final attack.

We are still in the match even after some injury problems: first Rafiq and then Masri ? two key players. Rafiq is a fighter. I know he has not been among wickettakers but he keeps one end tight. Without his tremendous batting effort in the first innings we would not be in this match. Masri also bowled well in this innings and can score a few runs. I hope he can come and bat if we need him in the second innings. I am thinking of the song by Bete Midler ? ?God is watching us from a distance.?