Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 3rd ODI, Harare

Complacency costs Zimbabwe dear

Bangladesh deservedly won their first one-day international since the 1999 World Cup, 47 matches in the past, when they defeated Pakistan, when they overcame a somewhat complacent Zimbabwe by 8 runs, taking a one-nil lead in a series now reduced by

The Wisden Verdict by John Ward

March 10, 2004

Text size: A | A



Rajin Saleh - a vital innings © Getty Images
Enlarge

There is a narrow line between confidence and complacency, and Zimbabwe, as they have done before, have crossed it with the greatest of ease. Today's was not one of their most dismal performances - such as the one against Kenya in the World Cup last year - but it was casual enough to cost them the match against a revitalized Bangladesh team, who have now won their first match in 47 attempts and nearly five years.

There were three significant turning points in the course of the match. The first came at the tail-end of the Bangladesh innings. Mohammad Ashraful, deservedly named Man of the Match, was the catalyst as his team added 89 runs in the last ten overs, taking Zimbabwe's bowlers by surprise after their earlier successes, and turning what seemed certain to be a weak total into a competitive one of 238.

Even so, Zimbabwe were favourites to reach that target, and were on course as Barney Rogers and Stuart Carlisle shared their century partnership at a fine rate of scoring. But a fatal lapse of concentration by Rogers - the very ball after he reached his maiden one-day fifty - led to the slump of a middle order who had expected to cruise home. The golden moment was the brilliant catch at midwicket by substitute fielder Hannan Sarkar to dismiss Sean Ervine. Ervine's top-edged pull cleared the field, but Sarkar flung himself full-length with his back to the pitch, and at 140 for 5, Zimbabwe were struggling.

From that moment on, the key figure was Heath Streak, a man of great experience and ability, and with a fine temperament to boot. As long as he stayed, and there was a batsman the other end to partner him, Zimbabwe would win. But he was surprised by a hip-high full toss from Tapash Baishya and Khaled Mashud, the wicketkeeper, held a good catch running back.

That was the final nail in Zimbabwe's coffin. They now face the task of winning the final two matches if they are to clinch the series. But because of their complacency, that vital ingredient of confidence has taken a blow. On paper, they should be able to do it - but "should" is never a word to be used in connection with the Zimbabwe cricket team.

RSS Feeds: John Ward

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

FeedbackTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Related Links

    New Zealand's choke problem

Martin Crowe: If they are to live up to their potential in next year's World Cup at home, they need to look within

    Impressing Viv and Greg

Five Firsts: Former Pakistan batsman Haroon Rasheed on the compliments he received, and his admiration for Gavaskar

    Still plenty of ifs for Butt

Rob Steen: Salman Butt insists players should refrain from "wrongdoing" but that shouldn't gain him back the trust of those he duped

Outside the Grace Gate

Shot Selection: You think MCC members have it easy when it comes to watching a Test at Lord's? Think again

A measure for batting and bowling effectiveness in T20

Kartikeya Date: Strike rates and economy rates do not quite tell the whole story. Here's a new standard

News | Features Last 7 days

UAE all set to host lavish welcoming party

The controversy surrounding the IPL has done little to deter fans in UAE from flocking the stadiums, as they gear up to watch the Indian stars in action for the first time since 2006

Attention on Yuvraj, Gambhir in IPL 2014

ESPNcricinfo picks five players for whom this IPL is of bigger significance

India: cricket's Brazil

It's difficult to beat a huge talent base exposed to good facilities, and possessed of a long history of competing as a nation

Fifty for the pantheon

What if you had to narrow all of cricket greatness down to 50 names?

'I love to take batsmen on'

Wahab Riaz, the Pakistan left-arm quick, on the pain of missing out on a ten-for, and his love for numbers and batting

News | Features Last 7 days