Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, lone Test, Harare, 1st day August 4, 2011

Of crazy beginnings and Tom Jones

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the first day of the lone Test between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in Harare

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 correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • VINEET on August 5, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    Mahmudullah has one of the finest bowling averages in the squad...You pick an allrounder & don't give him even a single over to ball on first day???...The seamers have to be blamed they were just aweful with the new ball on both the occassions

  • Dummy4 on August 4, 2011, 19:35 GMT

    I cannot wait to see how the Zim test debutant Brian Vitori will do in this test, he looked very promising in the A side games against Australia, and with a possible huge total to defend I wish him all the best. Its good to see Zim in whites again and I hope they win this one. I already look fwd to the one-off test against Pakistan.

  • Dummy4 on August 4, 2011, 19:00 GMT


    Concentrate only on your team, your expert comment is priceless Bangladesh is not playing with their top seamers, and if they are so ordinary don't waste your time reading these articles.

  • Dummy4 on August 4, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    I think the Bangladesh team are very concerned about the well being of the two people responsible for covering the advertising boards. They'll make sure that the remaining quota of 360 overs does not have to be bowled.

  • Dummy4 on August 4, 2011, 16:43 GMT

    well played zim....plz put pressure on them bd tigers....i don't understand why razzaq was picked in the playing eleven....what the officials have in their mind..????

  • Dummy4 on August 4, 2011, 16:34 GMT

    awful start by bangladesh...didnt find any impressive pacers wasting both the new balls..how come shakib won the toss n chose to field first!!!!!

  • Qdzy on August 4, 2011, 16:17 GMT

    Firdose Moonda, this article is flat.

  • Dummy4 on August 4, 2011, 15:31 GMT

    Well done for the day, a step at a time :)

  • sohail on August 4, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    So Mr. Geoff Boycott was somehow wright when he used Bangladesh as an example of how India played the other day in his daily column in Daily Telegraph, Zimbabwe continued to build on a solid start today because the opponent is Bangladesh who may be little bit better than Zimbabwe in one day now a days but obviously hasn't learn how to play test cricket yet, all day long Shakib keeps using Razzaq whose average is probaly 60+ and Mahmudullah has not been used at all being the second best Bangladeshi allrounder. If it continues like this, I can see Zimbabwe scoring close to 450 or so and Bangladesh at 168 for 8 for hasty batting. They better get their act together tomorrow morning, and Shakib needs to think way better than he did today, otherwise there will be a result in this test.

  • Deepak on August 4, 2011, 15:15 GMT

    As known, BD is a normal ordinary team, they get thrashed by Zimbabwe too, no hidings here, as Sehwag once told, they are a ordinary team, and could be beaten by local street team too. My best wishes to the Zimbabwe team. It would have been an ideal decision if BD were sent into test exile. They really dont deserve to play test cricket. Best of luck Zimbabwe, keep the tempo going and make 500 above, you can make a mockery at your home ground against the BD.

  • No featured comments at the moment.