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Sriram Veera in Chittagong
January 20, 2010
Requiring another 348 runs to win with eight wickets in hand, Bangladesh need to bat out, weather permitting, six hours for a draw. However, captain Shakib Al Hasan has said they will go for the win. "We are looking to bat all day and we are looking to win," he said.
It might sound over-ambitious, but thinking about winning might help the hosts at least save the Test. At times, batting for a draw can be as difficult, if not more, as trying to win. Whether some of the batsmen have the technical nous and the mindset to save a Test is unsure, and as the cliché goes, playing "positively" might be a better option.
It's something that opener Tamim Iqbal displayed amply, with dollops of common sense. He drove and cut at every opportunity and importantly, left a few deliveries outside off stump. Only once did he have a big swing but even then it wasn't a wild, mindless, shot. He had seen the slower one from Sreesanth but ended up swinging inside the line.
If Tamim stood for everything that was good about the Bangladeshi batting today, Shariar Nafees reflected the worst. It was a nervy innings, full of over-ambitious swipes and there was a sense of desperation and a sense of impending doom to it.
There was a man at the deep and he still went for the hook. It would have made sense if he was pulling well, but he wasn't. He chased deliveries outside off stump and went hard at some of his other shots.
It was his comeback game after his ICL exile and perhaps, the pressure showed on him. It was similar to the way he played in the first innings, and Shakib acknowledged it in the end. "He was very shaky in the middle but we are hoping that he scores runs and gains confidence. It's his comeback from ICL and he is working hard with Jamie Siddons [the coach]."
They might find some inspiration in Gautam Gambhir's thoughts though. "The pitch is very flat. If they [Bangladesh] play positively anything is possible. Let's see what happens."
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