Meanwhile, in Harare-
Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are playing a full-blooded, evenly matched, positive game of Test cricket. Zimbabwe, playing their first Test match in a while, have made a sporting declaration towards the end of day four. Every single player in their side has justified their spot, and their captain has played to win.
That declaration at tea on day four was one that neither Strauss nor Dhoni would have made. Regardless of what happens on day five, Zimbabwe have made a solid announcement of their presence. Pakistan visit Zimbabwe later this month, and then Zimbabwe tour New Zealand in January. Their bowling seems up to the task.
Bangladesh have fought back more than once in the game. The straight-talking Tamim Iqbal said at the end of day four: “The wicket is flat so if we don’t make mistakes or do anything silly, we should win.” Which is a confident statement, considering they need 263 runs on the final day with 7 wickets in hand.
If ever there was an example of the spirit of cricket, it is not an English batsman being gifted a second chance because he lost his wicket on account of being stupid. The spirit of cricket is alive and well, at the Harare Sports Club.