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ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the first day of the lone Test between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in Harare
Firdose Moonda in Harare
August 4, 2011
Wobbly moment of the day
Zimbabwe were expected to be nervous about their return to the Test arena after almost six years. Before two overs had been completed on the first morning, their anxiety showed. There was a vociferous appeal of Robiul Islam's fourth delivery, despite the ball missing the leg stump. While Vusi Sibanda stood his ground, non-striker Tino Mawoyo hared down to the other end of the pitch as the fielder took aim. He would have been well short, but for the awful throw that eluded two waiting fielders, the ball speeding away to the long-on boundary for four overthrows. A fretful start all round.
Soundtrack of the day
Music is supposed to be reserved for limited-overs formats of the game, with Test cricket understood to be a place of serenity and tradition. Music at every boundary hit is surely the domain of Twenty20 cricket only. Not in Zimbabwe. The first five fours were greeted with Snoop Dog and Tiao Cruz, but it was the lunch time entertainment that brought on the most giggles. Music that belongs in another era, like Michael Learns to Rock, the BeeGees and Tom Jones, were meant to provide the beats. Little wonder then, that the stands were just about empty.
Quip of the day
Zimbabweans have been starved of Test cricket, which hasn't diminished their interest in the game, but has had some effect on how well they read it. It meant they were guarded about their early success with the bat, even thought it was a performance that exceeded some expectations. The team's media manager, who is in charge of his first Test match, responded with some measure when asked if he was excited about the team's position just after lunch. "I haven't watched a Test in so long that I actually don't know if this is good or bad," he said. By the end of the day he seemed more certain that it was good.
Big shot of the day
Vusi Sibanda could easily be the Rolls Royce of driving, with his smooth showing in this innings. But the shot he played which defied the notion that Zimbabwe's batsmen were afraid of left-arm spin showed that he could be a Maserati too. Abdur Razzak tossed one up, Sibanda glided down the pitch, elegant as a dancer, and presented a bat as straight as the Empire State building. The ball went back over Razzak's head and the sightscreen, as perfect as a six can get.
Repetitive moment of the day
There are several thankless jobs to be done at a cricket match, like cleaning the bar after the rowdy crowd have left or packing up the boundary rope. The most thankless of them all must be putting the white sheet over the advertising boards behind the bowler's arm every time an over starts from that end. Two unfortunates had the task of doing that throughout the day, smoothing the sheet boards when the batsman would be facing that end, hiding behind the board and swiftly emerging to take the sheet off when the logo could be displayed again. Ninety times in total they did it, with another 360 left to go.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondentFeeds: Firdose Moonda
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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