November 15, 2001

Gripper's knock puts Zimbabwe into a good position

Staff Correspondent

Zimbabwe have made a good start on the first day of the second Test against Bangladesh in the MA Aziz stadium, Chittagong. At stumps, the tourists were 236 for 4. Opener Trevor Gripper, unsuccessful in the first Test, hit a scintillating 112, his maiden Test century. He struck 14 boundaries, patiently frustrating the Bangladeshi bowlers.

A solid opening partnership of 108 revealed the true nature of the pitch, which is expected to improve in the coming days. Dion Ebrahim and Gripper took full advantage, hitting the Bangladeshi bowlers all over the park. Ebrahim departed for 41 when he attempted a wild shot to a ball from Mashrafe that kept low, missed and saw his stumps in disarray.

The Zimbabwean skipper didn't last long, trapped lbw by Enamul Haque for 14. Grant Flower played some good strokes while Gripper was patience personified. Both dealt with the bowling attack like experts, with a mixture of caution and aggression.

Enamul Haque broke through when Flower, on 33, mishit him to Naimur Rahman. Nightwatchman Garry Brent came in to join Andy Flower, Zimbabwe's most successful player.

Gripper's long, patient innings of 112 at last came to an end as he attempted a risky single, and the stumps were broken by a direct hit from midwicket with Gripper short of his ground.

Flower and Brent then took no risks, and at the close the board showed Zimbabwe on 236 for 4.