Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, Only Test, Harare, 5th day August 8, 2011

Taylor hails historic win


Brendan Taylor, Kyle Jarvis and Alan Butcher, the Zimbabwe coach, were soaked in pink champagne and beer as they walked into their post match press conference after Zimbabwe's historic win over Bangladesh. "Now I know what it means when they say you smell like a brewery," Butcher said.

What it really meant is that Butcher and his men had just sipped from the cup of victory, something Zimbabwe had not even had the chance to experience in the Test format in almost six years. To announce their return to the premier format of the game with authority was better than just a sip, it was gulp after gulp of satisfaction.

"The good win might have silenced a few critics," Taylor said. "Zimbabwe cricket invested in us and were patient with us encouraged us and we are really glad to replay that favour."

The new Test team represents a coming of age for some of the older players, who were once a group of young, inexperienced men thrown into the international scene out of need, not merit. After the player walkout in 2004, Zimbabwe had no choice but to field the best they had, even though many of them were not ready for the pressures of playing at the highest-level. Seven years have passed since then and their poise and self assurance has grown, their maturity is evident, and, finally, they appear ready. "It's nice to see a lot us have stuck together," Taylor said. "We're a side that's always worked really hard to try and improve."

The match had special significance for Taylor, who scored his maiden Test century in the second innings, at a time when the match was on the verge of tilting in Bangladesh's favour. Zimbabwe resumed day four on 92 for 4, a lead of 175, but in a position that needed consolidation. "At the end of day three, we certainly felt a bit of pressure," Taylor said. "I must commend Tatenda [Taibu] and Craig Ervine for the supporting role they played to get us back into a wining position."

Taibu scored 59 and Ervine, who was at the other end when Taylor reached his landmark, an unbeaten 35. "Getting the hundred was special but winning the match was more important," Taylor said, taking the spotlight off himself and shining it on the collective effort. "The guys showed good courage and had smart heads on their shoulders."

Such a composed performance may seem somewhat extraordinary, given the length of time Zimbabwe has spent away from Test cricket, but it's a testament to their domestic four-day tournament, which has become more competitive with the introduction of the franchise system two season ago, and the A team tours, such as the recent one against Australia A. "We prepared the best we could possibly prepare," Taylor said, while Butcher added that even though the side lost to Australia A it showed them that could compete against big name players.

One such big name player is Tamim Iqbal, who was named Test Player of the Year by the Wisden Cricketer magazine in 2010. The Bangladesh opening batsman was confident his side would chase down the target against an "ordinary" bowing attack. Instead, they crumbled, giving Taylor a reason to get his own back. "His [Tamim's] performance was pretty ordinary too," he said. "He is a quality player and his team were looking for him to get a big total and he got out pretty carelessly. He should let the performances do the talking and not concentrate too much with the mouth."

In particular, Tamim was made to eat his words about Jarvis, the bowler he called "just ok", when Jarvis claimed the last two Bangladesh wickets after lunch to end with five for the match. Jarvis' new-ball partner, Brian Vitori, also bagged five wickets and together they provided a big reason to be optimistic about Zimbabwe's future. "They were outstanding," Butcher said. "Every time they picked the ball up they looked a threat and made the Bangladeshis look uncomfortable."

With such an exciting side under his guidance, Butcher couldn't hold back his smiles as he entered a new era with a Zimbabwe side that has gone from fractured to fertile under his tenure. "When I first took on the job, I felt that what the team needed was some love," he said. "It seemed to me that any time that they did something wrong there were lots of people ready to jump down their throats. I have tried to instil a more positive outlook and culture and I think people have responded to that."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nishani Lochna Madhumali on August 10, 2011, 3:57 GMT

    @Lahori_munde..I totally agree with you. Afghanistan is a better & better team than BD. @Kaihan..I have no problem with BD. My comment was regarding BD national cricket team. I agree with you, every team is strong at home.But check BD records..are they strong at home? How many matches have they won at home? How many matches were drawn? How many lost? BD is not strong at anywhere. Yes it's difficult for a real BD fan like you to believe that BD team is not up to standard. But It's the truth my friend.. BD should learn more & more. Firstly players like TAMIM has to read world top class player's comments regarding their opponents before the matches. Cricket is something you can't improve easily.Commitment is very important. I can't understand why BD players are so overconfident?? Have they done anything better than ZIM in Test cricket? BD always thinks ZIM is the only team that they can beat in Test format. That's why TAMIM insulted ZIM bowling attack. BD must be given a long rest..

  • Shafin on August 10, 2011, 0:43 GMT

    Tamim just wanted to play a 'mind game'. If BD was the winner he would look like a Shewag. But he looks silly. He will back up his words in the ODI.

  • Kaihan on August 9, 2011, 18:19 GMT

    @SLcricketLovers....whats your problem with BD ? Why you are crying to see BD out of cricket ? Do you know how many people watch BD games..? its more than even lot of other so called giant teams suppoerters. BD is trying to improve, may be not as expected, by with any loss, some stupid people like you start crying about BD. Zim won this match, that doesn't mean that are stronger than BD. They won it in their soil. But if they play in BD, most of their mighty batsmen will not see any ball from Sakib/Razzak. Everybody is strong in their own soil, so one defeat in foreign soil does not mean anything. Come on BD, show your potential and shut the mouth of these non-sense cricketlovers off.

  • Javed on August 9, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    Bangladesh team wasn't even good enough against the 'Ordinary Bowling attach'. @SLcricketLovers- Very good points. It's that BCCI who keep protecting Bangladesh, otherwise Bangladesh is not even close to good enough to play at the higest level. Afganistan is ten times better then Bangladesh

  • Dummy4 on August 9, 2011, 12:50 GMT

    next tamim tamim or anybody of Bangladesh cricket team should first understand what they are saying.

  • Nishani Lochna Madhumali on August 9, 2011, 9:20 GMT

    Bangladesh Team is a BIG BIG JOKE.. Tamim said "ordinary bowling attack"??? BD is the worse team I have ever seen. They are pretty ordinary in all formats of Cricket. They can't bat,, they can't bowl..they can't field.. they are very poor in T20s..They are very very poor in ODIs.. They are totally not suitable for Test Cricket. BD playing Test is a big joke.. ICC must cancel Test status of BD. We want to see good real cricket. ZIM returned to Test format after 6 years & achieved an easy victory against BD. Congratulations ZIM.. Good bye BD..You have been playing Test for than 10 years & You achieved NOTHING.. It's better for BD to give up playing International Cricket & start from the begging again. Then you will be able at least to give a good fight in International level after 10, 15 Years.

  • Fitzherbert on August 9, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    Hats off to Taylor and Mazakadza for their centuries, Sibanda and Mayowo for their century opening stand in the first innings, and Vitori, Jarvis and Mpofu for their incisive fast bowling. Taibu's half century in the second innings and Craig Irvine's unbeaten 35 also deserve commendation. Chigumburu also took vital wickets in both innings. Zimbabwe looked like a team rather than a bunch of individuals and I salute their coaches Alan Butcher and Grant Flower.Heath Streak's role must also be celebrated. Well done Zimbabwe!

  • mahjut on August 9, 2011, 8:33 GMT

    Well, redneck. Although I get what you're saying and basically agree, Aus A were playing a Zim XI [not Zim] and athough the final game when they gave the Zim XI a thrashing, and 10 of that team played this test - things came together for the Australian opening batsmen. Anyway, the problems in Aus during this 'low-ebb' are more bowling than batting and Zim played with a very long tail in one of the two matches and still managed 245/4 (despite the fact that's their achillies) in the first innings of the second match [and 340 in the second innings of the first match]. A whitewash yes, but not against Zimbabwe first XI. BTW, thanks to Aus for that series, i think it was a good one: we faced Siddle, Hilfenhuas, Krezja and Beer and bowled at Warner, Hughes, Khawaja, Ferguson, March, Paine, Finch... these guys play top level cricket most of the year round

  • Rahul on August 9, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    Though Tamim was trying to do a Sehwag he forgot the people at disposal. When Sehwag said BD bowling is ordinary what he meant was that in last series agains SL, SL had been unable to get 20 Indian wickets in 3 Tests and SL is far more established side than BD; instead of taking it on chin or trying to prove him wrong there was lot of hue and cry and all was verbal. Then Sehwag had himself, Gambhir, Dravid and Sachin at disposal whereas BD had only Shakib and Ashraful to follow.So his statement was pretty hollow to make and Zim made them eat his words. But one defeat shouldnt undo all the good work BD had done in past. They should walk the talk; it may be that they blank Zim 5-0 in ODIs but show repect to opposition!!

  • Muhammad Rakibul on August 9, 2011, 5:52 GMT

    Tamim mentioned Vitori as ORDINARY bowler. Well, this might b true. But it can't b proven against BD, bcoz their batting in test is also ordinary. Another question to Tamim , has he any idea about their own pece bowling strength. BD ,without Mash & Shahadat, has just a local club cricket's pace bowling strength. BD have produced only 2 seamers in cricket history who r bit ahead of 'OK' category...lol. Then how did Tamim underestimate opponent bowlers? I'm 4m BD & Tamim is my Fav BD batsman in field but his off-field activities seems irresponsible & arrogant in recent weeks.

  • No featured comments at the moment.