Bangladesh v WI, 2nd Test, Mirpur, 4th day November 1, 2011

Atypical discipline the need for Bangladesh

Bangladesh will need to show the kind of discipline they have not yet demonstrated they possess in order to save the second Test against West Indies

The scenario of final day survival by a restless batting line-up might make for compelling viewing for the neutral, but for followers of the Bangladesh cricket team, it will mean another night of anticipation followed by more unease on Wednesday morning.

Essentially, Bangladesh will have to defend seven wickets over an entire's day play. If they do, it would add much needed steel to this group of cricketers. In their very short history, Bangladesh have only once batted out the final day and it happened six years ago against Zimbabwe at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

But even this feat of the past is a mere passing thought given the way they batted in the first innings. Every batsman barring Naeem Islam came out all guns blazing: when the second wicket fell, the run-rate was above 7 an over, it was almost 7.50 after the third and still hovering near the 7-mark when the fifth fell. Boundary-hitting is addictive but against Fidel Edwards and Kemar Roach, it becomes a facade to avoid pace and bounce. In the second innings, the opening salvo hardly changed.

After West Indies chose to insure themselves against losing the Test by batting until after lunch, the worry was just how many wickets Bangladesh would take into the final day. The small crowd at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium cheered lightly when Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes opened with a flurry of boundaries yet again. Imrul edged Fidel Edwards to the other Edwards, Kirk, at first slip and though the catch was referred to the third umpire, that kind of dismissal was not unexpected.

Cynics would suggest that Bangladesh were going for the 508-run target rather than bat out the 137 overs, but the truth is Bangladesh's batsmen struggle to bat for long periods. The ability to switch on and off, especially before and after breaks in play, to deal with distractions, has yet to be mastered by the home side.

The 164 runs scored they scored on the fourth day is insignificant given the bigger picture. What mattered most was that after Tamim and Mushfiqur, the likes of Naeem Islam, Nasir Hossain, and most importantly, Shakib Al Hasan are still to come.

Shakib, Mushfiqur and Tamim all average higher in the fourth innings than their overall record. Shakib averages 60.83, including two fifties (one of them a match-winning 96 against West Indies in 2009) and a hundred, while the captain, who calmly negotiated almost an hour on the fourth day, averages 56.42.

Tamim, unbeaten on 82, remains the key. He resisted several goodies outside off from the West Indies bowlers in the final hour and it would be significant if he can continue to do so. Shakib, whose last innings as Test captain ended with a wild slog when Bangladesh needed to save the game against Zimbabwe in August, will also have to remain steadfast.

While Ottis Gibson, the West Indies coach, said a Bangladesh victory is not out of the question, the reality is they will have to scrap to save the game. The plan will be to bat out one session at a time. To that, the players will have to show the kind of discipline they have yet to demonstrate they possess. The key moments will be the small breaks during the three sessions. That is when Bangladesh will be at their most vulnerable.

Mohammad Isam is senior sports reporter at the Daily Star in Dhaka

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shaifuzzaman on November 2, 2011, 2:17 GMT

    @Sunny Jahangir: Give one such exmaple that "the former is not impossible". Plz be realistic. No team will chase 344 runs on final day of a test with only 7 wkt in hand. Even if they had 10 wkt intact it would be difficult. Asking alrounders to do the same throuthout the series is too much. So, defeat is certain but let us make it difficult for WI. No giving away wkt like Imrul and Raqibul. Somebody need to remind Raqibul to play offspin in front foot not backfoot. He will never be successful. If BD dont give away wkt, I presume BD can go to tea around 320/5.Then let WI win in final session. Let them achieve it. No shame at that time. The expected result was 2-0. We have done far better than that. WI were in the same situation in CTG if two day were not washed out.We were clear favourite in that test with 106 run lead. That odd Rain saved their skin for this time around. So plz make it tough for WI. Put more price for ur wkt. Let them earn it with good ball and not just GIFT them.

  • Hanz on November 2, 2011, 0:45 GMT

    @SomeoneStoleMyLungi.....good analysis dude. Thats why i love test cricket. i would also say, this is the chance for Tigers to prove themselves. if they can manage to do well, definitely they will be respected by rest of the teams. They must uplift their performance with with a marginal stance against surviving teams like WI, Zimbabwe, Pakistan or New Zea land unless they always want to be the child/or minnow of Test Cricket.

  • TMoney on November 2, 2011, 0:25 GMT

    I think wat Bangladesh were trying to do on the 4th day of their 2nd innings of batting is to slog it out to make as much runs as they can before the last day which they knew they have to bat out. ITs not a bad idea but we have to see their composure in the first session of the last day. IF they come out and try to hit everything for 4 then they are not going to win. Its all simple as tht. If they come out and block and get the one's and two's and hit a 4 once every 4 overs then i think they would have the right composure. If they get to the last session of days with at least 3 wickets in hand then i would play for a draw. If they have 6 or possibly 5 wickets in hand then why not go for the win. Put the West Indies underpressure? U never know wat will happen. If they do that and lose 1 wicket then id say go for the draw after.

  • Hanz on November 1, 2011, 21:45 GMT

    Hi Tamim, i believe being a modern cricketer you do read cricinfo's comments on you. So that, you can have a better evaluation on you;..... & with yourself. I think, this is the time when you should opt to have a batting class like " World Greatest " ; such as....Bryan Lara, Little Master, Viv Richards, Jacques Kallis, Andy Flower, Gibbs or Sir Don Bradman. Of course, All of them had the passion to do hard work & self commitment to execute it in performance. Therefore,it's time for you to show us what you can give to cricket & to your nation. All you gotta do is to have an attitude......Best of Luck

  • Dummy4 on November 1, 2011, 21:16 GMT

    Make it simple... BD has to score 344 in 90 overs with 7 wickets with Tamim, Mushfique, Shakib, Naeem and Nasir or WI has to take 7 wickets in 90 overs. The latter looks better bet but the former is not impossible..There isnt going to be BD hanging in there for 90 overs..They simply don't have that kind of patience of just hanging in there..unlike the English, Indians or Zimbabwans even!!

  • Mustafizur on November 1, 2011, 20:35 GMT

    Winning the match is out of question by Bangladesh. Islam has drawn an acurate picture of Bangladeshi test team's situation. I really do not understand what is in their mind. After defending 2-3 deliveries the batsmen go wild and try to hit the next one no matter what the delivery is. In comparison Naeem and Nasir has shown a lot more composure and much better test temperament. Same with Raquibul. Although Tamim restrained himself after he scored 40, I become breathless at each delivery to him. Imrul on the other hand will never learn. Cumon team... show some restraint and even if you lose let it happen in the final session. We can atleast console ourselves as supporter that our team gave it a fight. Do not lose before you do so.

  • zulfiquar on November 1, 2011, 20:29 GMT

    Session one: restrained aggression - goal win or draw a) if all wickets intact; session two: goal win b) if lose one wicket in session 1; goal draw c) if a then goal: win in session 3 d) if b then goal:l draw in session 3 Session one will guide the day. God Speed.

  • Dummy4 on November 1, 2011, 19:46 GMT

    Thanks Isam. A very true picture of the team. The atonement is the key. We need to mature and grow.

  • Dummy4 on November 1, 2011, 19:21 GMT

    There will be no draw........ win or lose..

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