Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 1st Test, Galle, 4th day March 10, 2017

'A draw is very possible' - Shakib

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Shakib Al Hasan: 'Every batsman coming to the wicket has to try and bat long' © Associated Press

Shakib Al Hasan has said that a draw is the most realistic target for Bangladesh as they look to bat out the fifth day in Galle. He also said Bangladesh's approach shouldn't just be about defending balls, but also scoring runs to stay confident.

Bangladesh have failed to survive the last day on two occasions since January already. In Wellington and Hyderabad, they made critical mistakes which enabled the opposition, New Zealand and India respectively, to dictate terms and win both Tests.

They could also look at the previous Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Test for inspiration and direction. In that match, Bangladesh batted out 76.4 overs on the final day in Chittagong, thanks to four important partnerships including an unbroken 120-run stand between Shakib and Mominul Haque that sealed the draw.

Shakib said that the batsmen should look at how Soumya Sarkar and Tamim Iqbal mixed caution with aggression in the 15 overs they batted on the fourth day in Galle, before bad light (and subsequent rain) ended play.

"[The most realistic target is a] draw, since we still have 10 wickets," Shakib said. "I think we need two or three partnerships, then a draw is possible. As I said, the first session is very important. The whole day will depend on how we play the first session.

"Every batsman coming to the wicket has to try and bat long, and also score runs because that increases a batsman's confidence and he becomes more comfortable. You cannot just defend or just attack. Everything has to be balanced, like the way Soumya batted today. He did not play any loose shots, but at the same time he had a good strike rate."

How Soumya Sarkar and Tamim Iqbal start the final day hold the key for Bangladesh © AFP

Shakib said that if the opening pair should continue in the same vein on the fifth morning, and stretch their unbroken 67-run partnership, then Bangladesh could look for a draw. Stressing on the importance of the first session on the final day, he said that playing each ball on merit will be the "normal" way to bat on a fifth-day pitch, but added that it would be hard work for every batsman that comes out to bat.

"Tamim also batted very well. Maybe he did not get that many bad deliveries so he took a bit of time to score runs," he said. "So we have a lot to learn from their [Tamim and Sarkar] batting. Hopefully they can repeat it tomorrow and those of us batting later can also repeat it, we can hope for a good result. The way the two are playing I don't think they need to change. They will play according to the merit of the ball that is normal, they will try to follow the game plan we have.

The whole team wants them [the opening pair] to bat as long as possible, then it becomes easier for the rest of the batsmen. Everyone will have to work very hard in this situation."

He said that they were also aware of the way the Galle pitch might behave on the final day, having seen the turn that was being generated from the scruffed up surface in the final session of the fourth day.

"The fifth-day pitch may behave differently. The ball has started to turn a bit now so it may do more tomorrow. But I think our batsmen are capable and since we still have 10 wickets, we genuinely believe that if not a result, a draw is very possible."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cricfan37328733 on March 11, 2017, 9:55 GMT

    There is no word like allrounder in test cricket(there are exception like kallis or sobers)...If u look at every team they prefer genuine batsmen or bowlers rather than allrounder....For eg:in test allrounder ranking there is ashwin, jadeja, herath, starc, stokes, philander etc Now coming to point-ashwin, jadeja, starc, herath, philander primary role is bowling which they do to help their team win matches and as their batting is concerned they are not expected to score century if they do It's bonus.....so literally no allrounder plays test cricket there are exception maybe stokes but he is proper batsman. Now for Bangladesh fans will u choose bowler who could single handly win matches or shakib from u cannot expect gaming changing fifer or regular century.....as a supporter of ban team I would want genuine bowler or batsman in team than utility player...In odis players like shakib is important because 30-40 runs&few wkts could be counted as good performance...@5 mossadek should play.

  • Karthik Eyan on March 11, 2017, 9:24 GMT

    Lol. Leaving aside who made comical statements and who didnt. It was yet another comical performance by the rank 9 test team.

  • cricfan37328733 on March 11, 2017, 7:18 GMT

    Bangladesh could never be good test team becoz their selection is based on t20 or odi performance....before this series started I predicted shakib&mahmudullah is not good enough to bat at crucial position.....Liton das may not score big today bt he is at least showing how to approach test match as a batsman.....player with good avg in first class should be given chance....They might struggle in test for few games bt after that they'll succeed becoz test match is about converting start to big score&batting for long period. Mahmudullah will not be test batsman now becoz he cannot change his playing style suddenly. ....its not his fault either becoz he was bowler who transformed himself to batsman and had success in odi&t20. ...let him do that.and shakib needs to demoted @7....let's be honest and admit he is not good enough batsman for test. ....scoring 30-40 in test is nothing....just waste of spot. ...@5 a batsman who could play according to situation is needed...wish to see mossadek@5

  • CricLook on March 11, 2017, 6:54 GMT

    Shakib, you are most irresponsible player after Mohammed Ashraful. In terms of arrogance, no one can complete with. This morning again you proved this fact. Mahmudullah is a Dead man. After mushfiq we expected calm innings from him but he disappointed exponentially. Nothing to expect from this team, totally lost. The match will be finished within an hour after lunch.

  • cricfan7306622158 on March 11, 2017, 6:15 GMT

    Oh yes Shakib. This is test cricket not ODI or T20 , you have to know that in test cricket you have to play according to situation. And you never played according to that.

  • howtoplaycricket on March 11, 2017, 5:12 GMT

    Yeap..now u are gone shakib.Its definitely possible.

  • Manik_mia on March 11, 2017, 1:38 GMT

    @ HUSSYY; I agree with you. But I hope they can play 2 sessions at least and last session gets washed out. BD can never last 3 sessions on 5th day. I am a BD fan.

  • Manik_mia on March 11, 2017, 1:30 GMT

    Maybe he is trying to convince himself. Tamim did the right thing up till now. They need to follow Tamim not Soumya. Soumya was going after each balls. Soumya has a good technique and later on become over confident and get trapped. I hope he become more careful today.

  • Dhutugemunu on March 10, 2017, 22:41 GMT

    Shakib said "We genuinely believe that if not a result, a draw is very possible". This guy is playing international cricket for 10+ years, was #1 ranked all-rounder across formats and was BD captain, but does not know that the DRAW is a RESULT.

    FYI ~ According to Law 21 of Cricket, there are several results. 1. Won, 2. Lost, 3. Tie, 4. Draw. Won/Lost can be by runs, by wickets, by an innings, by match conceded or by match awarded. Draw can be due to expiration of match time without a win or a tie, or due to interference from the weather (rain), or due to the ground is declared unfit for play.

  • hussyy on March 10, 2017, 22:11 GMT

    I can confirm a draw is not possible lol the way bd batsmans bat there's no way they gna last against Lankans bowling attack the whole 5th day. If bd batsman had patience and right mentality this would have been possible to draw this but knowing bd jheez there's no chance. Bd will play as if this is t20 lol watch!

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