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ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the second day of the lone Test between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in Harare
Firdose Moonda in Harare
August 5, 2011
Unlucky moment of the day
Bangladesh began the second morning with a little more zip than they showed on the first. Lines were better, lengths more teasing and accuracy clearly increased. Still, they could not displace either Hamilton Masakadza or Brendan Taylor. Their best chance came with a run-out opportunity in the sixth over of the day. Masakadza drove past Shafiul Islam who managed to get his fingers on it in his desperate dive to the right in his follow through. The ball went on to hit the stumps at the non-strikers end and it looked as though Taylor hadn't turned in time to get his bat in, but replays showed that he was safe.
Goosebumps of the day
Centuries are always special, no matter where they come, who they come against or what circumstances they are scored in, but some are a little more special than others. Hamilton Masakadza has waited a decade between his first and second hundreds and the time has taken its toll. The pride and excitement in his wide smile made him seem like a rookie international lapping up his first success but the relief in the way he acknowledged his dressing room and the small crowd gave away that this was actually an experienced traveller who had finally completed the longest leg of his journey. Masakadza's celebration was a microcosm of the road Zimbabwe's cricket is on now, a road to recovery.
Entertainment of the day
Yesterday, there wasn't much to do besides watch the cricket or have a drink at the Maiden pub, but today the organisers put in some value-added bits. There was a climbing wall near the grass embankment that some of the younger members of the audience spent time navigating, but the real fun came when the motorised mechanical bull arrived. For those unfamiliar with this particular beast, it is a steel amusement park ride, in the shape of a bull, that was once used in rodeo training and made its popular appearance in Madonna's music video for the song Don't Tell Me. It wasn't quite the glamour of the Material Girl, but anyone who wanted to, could be a cowboy for a few minutes.
Pressure moment of the day
With all the hype around Brian Vitori, the 21-year old must have been feeling some pressure when he walked out to field. He had already given a respectable account of himself with the bat and showed some chutzpah in his strokeplay. But, he must have known that it was his performance with the ball that would be under the spotlight. He was given the job of opening the bowling and took it up with an impressive confidence. Without a few warm up balls, a trial run-up or any customary swinging of the arms, he charged in and hurled down his first delivery in international cricket, one that swung away from the left-hander. Vitori told ESPNcricinfo that he expected some people from his home town of Masvingo to make the trip to Harare for the match and they seemed to have arrived. A vociferous section of the crowd cheered his every delivery, with good reason.
Lesson of the day
Mohammad Ashraful was the first right-hander to face Vitori and he had to teach himself the best way to do that. Vitori was getting in quite close to the stumps and he was moving the ball away from the left-handers and into the right-handers, so Ashraful had to think carefully about how to position himself. After facing his first delivery, Ashraful took a little walk besides the crease and mimicked the movement of the ball coming in to him while muttering to himself and mock playing a shot with his bat. It seemed to be his way of being his own coach and understanding the line and movement and it served him in good stead through the innings.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondentFeeds: Firdose Moonda
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