Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 1st Test, Harare, 3rd day April 19, 2013

Zimbabwe not looking at overnight declaration


Zimbabwe believe there is enough time in the game to win and are, hence, willing to forego the helpful early morning bowling conditions they might enjoy by declaring overnight.

They are holding out solely for Brendan Taylor's second century of the match, which will put him level with Andy and Grant Flower as the only Zimbabweans to score a hundred in each innings of a Test. "There are still two days to go, so hopefully Brendan gets his milestone and then we can put them straight in," Kyle Jarvis said.

Although the first three days have proved batting is most difficult early on, Zimbabwe feel they need not rely on that to trigger a collapse similar to what they achieved in the first innings. Jarvis and Shingi Masakadza, who took four wickets each, are confident the surface will retain its "up-and-down," tendencies, as Robiul Islam put it, and it will be up to them to exploit it.

"Yesterday, we tried to do too much when the wicket could do it for us," Jarvis said. "There wasn't a huge change in the wicket, just a change in our lengths today." Jarvis was guilty of bowling too full and the whole attack offered width to Bangladesh's line-up, despite the knowledge that the opposition batsmen enjoy playing expansively.

When they cut out the run-scoring opportunities and put pressure on Bangladesh, they had success. Masakadza said he "definitely," felt as though it was just a waiting game and that he knew if Zimbabwe were willing to ride it out for longer than Bangladesh, wickets would fall. "You have to try and be patient, which we didn't do so well last night," Masakadza said. "They looked like they wanted to play their shots so when you get that jaffa, or that one with the extra bounce, it can take the edge."

By cramping Bangladesh's batsmen for room, Zimbabwe's bowlers forced them into errors, like Ashraful's mistimed pull and Mahmudullah's inside-edge. That left the tail for Jarvis, who has developed into a go-to man. "I have a lot more experience now than I had before," Jarvis said. "I see myself as a bit of a leader of the bowling group, so I guess there's a little bit more pressure on me as well."

That's not nearly as much as the pressure on the Bangladesh batsmen, who will need to achieve a world-record chase to win the match and will need to bat for at least five sessions to draw. Robiul, who single-handedly brought them back into the game, found a way to see the positive side in that. "If we can get Zimbabwe out in the first hour and the lead will be something like 480, with one-and-a-half days of batting, it's still possible," Robiul said.

It's that length of time that Zimbabwe believe gives them the advantage, because even though it's long enough for runs to be scored, the tale of the first innings suggests differently. Its evidence suggests that the bowlers, if they continue to frustrate their opposition, are likely to evoke a rash response which will result in wickets.

When Zimbabwe did the same thing, they also wobbled in their second innings. The best way to approach batting on this pitch is the way Zimbabwe did in the first innings and the way Taylor, in particular, has gone about his work. He displayed the Test match temperament required to excel at this level. "He has survived, even though we bowled well, which our batsmen didn't manage to do," Robiul conceded. "It's going to be difficult for us but it is still possible."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 20, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    @S-Matrix, Sunny is not even playing in this match-lol. I wud say Enamul to be Panesar :-P

  • Prashan on April 20, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    Just dont declare. Keep batting on and look at a 500 plus target. Thats it.

  • Dummy4 on April 20, 2013, 0:06 GMT

    Bangladesh should always bat in a test if winning the toss, simply because you don't want to bat the 4th innings, rather 1st and 3rd. That helps!!

  • Underground on April 19, 2013, 22:57 GMT

    Time for BD batsmen to imitate some recent England escape acts. Jahurul needs to be Cook, Ashraful to be KP, Nasir to be Trott, Mushfique to be Prior and, most importantly, Sunny to be Panesar.

  • Sarah on April 19, 2013, 21:45 GMT

    @ Satendra Singh Phalswal ; Well, An individual century might not be that important to top teams. But an individual century can lift the team spirit n confidence of a low profile team like Zimbabwe. Since there are no many centuries under his belt, I think Taylor should go for it. Its just 20 runs more. It will be good for him n the team.

  • Eugene on April 19, 2013, 19:22 GMT

    The Bangladeshis won't last long so there is plenty of time for Taylor to get his century.

  • Dummy4 on April 19, 2013, 18:27 GMT

    I feel Brendan must not delay for long. I think he must try and go aggressively towards his century and if he fails then he must insert Bangladesh to bat right away.

    BD batsmen can still hold out and play for a day, day and half.

  • Shibly on April 19, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    Optimism is always a good thing to hear. We know it is possible but the question is for whom - Bangladeshi Batsmen!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on April 19, 2013, 18:02 GMT

    I disagree with Kyle that Brendan's century will be more important than outright win. Grant Flower, the batting coach, has sacrificed his century many times in pursuit of a team victory. Jarvis might have been expressing his personal opinion. A ton for Taylor will be great but Zimbabweans have been known to put country first and that's the precise reason I 'am following this team religiously since 1987. Go Zim Go.

  • Dummy4 on April 19, 2013, 17:58 GMT

    Good Luck Bangladesh. We can do this impossible task! LOL

  • No featured comments at the moment.