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February 27, 2004
Soggy underfoot: Hannan Sarker and Mushfiqur Rahman inspect the outfield at Bulawayo
The second day of the second Test at Bulawayo went the same way as the first - a complete washout.
Despite the best efforts of the Queens Sports Club groundstaff, Wednesday night's downpour was still not cleared by the close yesterday. And more heavy rain overnight just compounded the problem - to the naked eye the outfield looked worse that it did 12 hours earlier - and made the chances of any play today almost nil from the off. The Bangladesh squad didn't even travel to the ground until well into the afternoon, opting to remain at their hotel. When the did arrive they had barely begun to tiptoe across the sodden outfield when the heavens opened again.
Whatever it has done to this match, the rain has come as a blessing to much of Zimbabwe after months of drought. There have been grumblings that the scheduling of this match in what is usually a rainy period is to blame. That has some validity, although the precipitation in the last few days has been uncharacteristically heavy.
The forecast for the next few days is much of the same, and the ground is already so wet that tomorrow's play is in doubt whatever happens overnight. There is the distinct possibility that this match might become the eighth in Test history to be abandoned without a ball being bowled because of the weather.
Click here for the weather forecast for Bulawayo
Zimbabwe (probable) 1 Dion Ebrahim, 2 Trevor Gripper, 3 Grant Flower, 4 Stuart Matsikenyeri, 5 Tatenda Taibu (wk), 6 Sean Ervine, 7 Gavin Ewing, 8 Heath Streak (capt), 9 Raymond Price, 10 Douglas Hondo, 11 Blessing Mahwire.
Bangladesh 1 Hannan Sarker, 2 Shahriar Hossain, 3 Habibul Bashar (capt), 4 Rajin Saleh, 5 Mohammad Ashraful, 6 Mushfiqur Rahman, 7 Manjarul Islam Rana, 8 Khaled Mashud (wk), 9 Mohammad Rafique, 10 Tapash Baisya, 11 Alamgir Kabir.
What's wrong with their cricket? Well, what isn't?