August 23, 2003


Day 1: Bangladesh 278/9 (Mohammad Rafique 10*, Mashrafe Mortaza 4*; 83 overs)
Day 2: Bangladesh 288, Pakistan 301/5 (Misbah-ul-Haq 12*, Rashid Latif 27*; 94 overs)
Day 3: Pakistan 346, Bangladesh 163/3 (Habibul Bashar 82*, Rajin Saleh 27*; 65 overs)

As I write Bangladesh is 247/5 (105 Overs) in post lunch session of Day 4 with a 189 run lead. Habibul Bashar completed his second century before giving his wicket to Kaneria at 108. Rajin Saleh Looking good with 58 on board. And imagine, not Shoeib Akhtar, Danish Kaneria is giving hard time to Bangladesh chipping two wickets before lunch session.

In this test Bangladeshi players are believing in themselves thanks to the professionalism shown by our Australian Coach, Dave Whatmore. After the thrashing of bowlers specially by Yaseer Hameed in the 2nd day, Dave had a discussion session with the Bowlers in the dressing room. They emerged on the third day as a different team and put an end to Pakistan's innings taking 5 wicket and giving only 45 runs in 23 overs. I was watching the game and Pakistani tail enders were never comfortable. I don't think that Bangladeshi bowling attack is so fierce. But due to the team effort and gameplan Pakistan looked rusty except the youngstar Yaseer Hameed.

The problem Bangladeshi players had before Dave tookover is that they went early into the shorts like one dayers, could not understand that Test cricket is a different ballgame. Now they are staying at the wicket, handling Shoeib's fierce deliveries, they are fighting. Australian tour surely boosted their confidence. Dave reasonably put out the game plan to Bangladeshi players, "Think you are in a rail track. Go forward and be in the track. No need to think about the destination now."

Lets keep our fingers crossed hoping that Bangladesh achieves a lead of almost 300 runs to test Pakistan's current form in the fifth day. It can turn out to be an exciting match.


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