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"The match is far from"--Dave

Bangladesh cricket fans spent two heady days in 7th heaven when their very own Tigers completely dominated the opposition for a change. The third day of the first Test against the visiting Zimbabwe has brought us a bit closer, but not yet down to earth. Young Zimbabwe skipper Taibu?s valiant effort averted the follow on. The game is interestingly poised but it is still Bangladesh?s to lose. The BanglaCricket forum is buzzing with fans? prognostications, predictions, strategies, optimism, pessimism, hope and fear. Let?s gander over there and eavesdrop.

Day 4 and the fans

Published: 8th January, 2005

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"The match is far from over"--Dave

Bangladesh cricket fans spent two heady days in 7th heaven when their very own Tigers completely dominated the opposition for a change. The third day of the first Test against the visiting Zimbabwe has brought us a bit closer, but not yet down to earth. Young Zimbabwe skipper Taibu?s valiant effort averted the follow on. The game is interestingly poised but it is still Bangladesh?s to lose. The BanglaCricket forum is buzzing with fans? prognostications, predictions, strategies, optimism, pessimism, hope and fear. Let?s gander over there and eavesdrop.

The hottest topic is strategy. What should Bangladesh do?

Zephaniah

They say test matches are won/lost in 3rd days - Ian Botham was a firm believer of this theory. From my point of view- this test match is now hanging on balance.

To tilt it to our favor we need to wrap up Zimbabwe's innings first thing tomorrow. Nkala is the potantial threat. So first 10 overs will be crucial. This game may drift away to a tame draw or even a possible BD defeat, depending on BD's second innings batting, if we let Zim's tail-enders cut loose.

I'm ever hopeful! If our bowlers manage to get last 2 wickets within 10 overs or less, BD should bat with caution until lunch then assess the situation. If there is no early collapse in 2nd innings batting then after lunch Ash and co. can play a nice little 40/50 overs ODI game to pile up perhaps 260 to 290 runs.

Ideal scenario - batting overs 10/15-20 (before lunch)+ 30 overs post lunch + 15 overs post tea session. So that's roughly 60 to 65 overs to score around 250-275 which will give us around 450 runs lead with 105 overs to get their 2nd innings wicket. From Zimbabwe's perspective, then, they need to break the world record of 4th innings chasing total at RRR over 4 on a 5th day pitch to win this match.

Worst scenerio - ....Ok. let us not just think about it, just yet.

Rafiq

Who cares about innings victory. Bangladesh took its foot off the pedal today, to be sure, but all is not lost yet with 2 days left to play. Some of the blame has to go to Habibul Bashar's miscalculation with the new ball, which he took late after overplaying a spin attack that was not going anywhere. Interestingly, all 4 of Rafique's wickets have come with the new or relatively new ball - food for thought for his captain.

With the main threats removed at the end of the day, Bangladesh can at least close out Zimbabwe close to the 308 they will start from on Day 4. 338 gives a nice 150 run lead. If we can get them out in the first hour or less, we will have 2 sessions to blast another 150-200 runs before putting them back in with at least an hour to play tomorrow. Even if our batting in the second innings is poor as everyone fears, we should be able to get that total and a lead of 300-350.

If the pitch cooperates , 300-350 will be a big ask for Zimbabwe, and they won't score fast enough to win the match either. There is a chance we won't be able to bowl them out, but on a wearing track it may just work out.

This will be a very tight game from here on, so every run conceeded, every over consumed and every run scored when we bat will count. But don't lose hope just yet!

sports_fan_bd

Just give Zimbabwe to chase 350 runs in about 100 overs. I think they will not survive on the 5th day pitch that long. Only question whether we can make such target??

Crickethorizon - The most important thing that BD, in my opinion, must do after warping ZIM's tail.. is that they must bat in ODI-style in their second innings.. to pile up a big target (300+) for ZIM.. doesnt matter if they lose 10 wickets to score 150-200 within 50-60 overs or so in their 2nd innings...

SunmAn

I think we should go defensive in this one and go for a sure draw and from then try our best to win it. We can prepare ourselves for the next one to win. Anything less than a run rate of 6.0 or 300 over all lead would be risky enough. And most importantly if we lose this it's gonna be a disaster ahead of all the other games in this series and in the ODI. Anything out of this line might come back and haunt us.

Piranha

Masri needs to get his act together and keep bowling a good line on or just outside off-stump. Any more of that short or wide nonesense and we will pay a heavy price.

"What ifs" and predictions abound

BD Tigers

right now we have 180 runs lead and they have 2 wks left. Like Zephaniah said, the first hr tomorrow will be very cruical for both teams. BD needs to take these wks and make 200 runs (at least) by tea. Making 200 runs is what scares me. 2nd innings is always scary for BD. But if BD cannot take these 2 wks and they frustrates BD, then God help us, Zimbos cud even defeat us on the final day. I dont see a draw cause i dont think these 2 teams have any patience to last 5 days. It will be make or break for BD & Zimbos.

Oracle

..great to see how test matches brings out the pessimists and the optimists-

I would say Bangladesh are still in with a greater chance of a win than Zimbabwe. Our RR capability also looks better than Zimbabwe. 350 runs is fine. However, I had initially thought that 300 would be fine. But not now. Taibu had reconfirmed their batting resilience.

Crickwizard

Yeah, it is going to be a draw. BD lost their winning chance on 3rd day. The possibility is BD will try to score 2nd innings in hurry, loose few wickets and then will slow down and finish the 4th day with 250+ lead. If BD survive to bat till the morning of the first session, then it is automatically a draw. Zim will not take the challenge to score fast and win. Beside BD batsmen are not capable to score 2nd innings and bowlers hardly played 2nd innings since BD had so many innings defeats. In this game BD lost their winning chance as soon as ZIM passed the follow-on

Crickethorizon

TOMORROW WILL BE THE DECIDING DAY.. WIN.. DRAW... OR LOSE!

We see the pessimists a.k.a the realists

SS

I saw ppl over here over reacting that Bd will win so easily. Never underestimate anyone. Zimbos played with their heart out and they will play more. I don't know what will happen tommorrow and on the 5th day. Our batsmen can't take pressure, even we give them 300 lead they will have the whole 5 th day to bat and score it..which seems likely they will be very close to acheive that target or may get it. Without pain no gain

Fwullah

we have never batted well twice in a test match.that scares me. i am scared that BD will get out cheaply in the second innings and give zim enough time to win the match. - That is very much possible, but I hope that from this situation, Dav's coaching skills are needed the most.

You could say that from here on, if Bangladesh doesn't lose after a batting collapse in the 2nd innings, then Dav Whatmore is a GREAT coach.

Crickethorizon

To be frank... BD is on the verge of being leveled by ZIM with a draw.. yes ZIMs r showing their determination and todays fightback will giv them big confidence for the times coming.

It's really time for BD to work out some strike-back plan.. if they want to prove they are tougher fighters than the ZIMs.

At the moment, expectation by the whole cricket world from BD is victory over ZIM 'almost' A-team.. and BD's only option, if they wana prove their worthyness, is to defeat ZIM.

Draw is ofcourse an option.. but its just not good enough to establish the claim of progress being made

Yes, hope and faith is never in short supply

Oracle

If BD bats after lunch then sticking to 2 sessions and adding 200+ is not that much to ask for. The grapes are there for plucking.

DotBall

First of all BD is still in position to swing it 100% in there favor. Just as Zephaniah said if we can get the last 2 wicket within 10 overs or even within 15 overs we will have lead of about 130 or so. We would need to bat to extend the lead to 400 or bat rest of the day (which I am hopping will produce a lead around 375 anyway) and put Zim to chase it. Ideally if our batsman and play cauciously to start with and 1 or 2 can take the initiative to the ZIm bowlers we can get the 400 lead and put zim to chase with may be 15 overs left to play on 4th day. If all fails we will have to settle for a draw. There is no question that we will loose (that would be the ultimate blow to BD, and we might get stuck in the 2nd tier for ever).

We are still in a good position to win this match and that remains the most viable option for us.

Crickethorizon

BD batting has found some strength already.. and I dont think it will be impossible for them. And the rest remains on the bowlsers & fielders!

We are still Bangali

Radicalsami

if BD looses this game... then Allahr rohmot e shob players der ke shundorbon e chere diya asha dorkar...

Final Thoughts

So the fans have spoken. But Taibu has spoken with the bat too and has presented Habibul Bashar with a daunting challenge. Yet, Bangladesh has faced countless dire situations, but never has the chances of a win been greater. From such a crossroad - a draw would breed more doubts about our cricket; a win would seal our claims of progress- but a loss would be a shattering blow to a fledgling recovery that we had witnessed.

 

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