Wounded Tigers loom

HARARE - The Zimbabwe cricket team is not underestimating Bangladesh ahead of the second and final Test of the Teletalk 3G series that starts today at Harare Sports Club.

Zimbabwe leads the series 1-0 following a massive 335-run victory in the first Test at the same venue last week.

The Tigers were criticised heavily back home by their board and the media for the feeble display against the African side.   

Zimbabwe are now clear favourites to win the second match and go on to claim the series basing on their performance in the first Test.  

Captain Brendan Taylor, who was the Zimbabwe hero from the first Test with two centuries, is aware that Bangladesh will try their best to get a result to salvage some lost pride which makes them a dangerous side.

Taylor scored a commanding 171 in the first innings before he was dismissed by Enamul Haque Jr while in the second innings he declared when he was 102 not out after Zimbabwe had amassed a lead of 482.  

He said: “I don’t think there are too many negatives about the way Bangladesh played in the first Test.

They struggled playing in our conditions and I’m sure they will also make life difficult for us when we go and play them in Bangladesh someday.

“I’m sure they will bounce back stronger, they have played a lot against us and in the last Test series we played them here — they came back stronger in Bulawayo.

“They never give up and they always make it very difficult for us.”

Although Zimbabwe won the first Test by a huge margin, there was not much difference between the two sides.

Taylor’s two centuries proved to be the game changer for the hosts with the rest of the Zimbabwe top order of Timycen Maruma, Vusi Sibanda and Hamilton Masakadza struggling to get to double figures.

Interim coach Stephen Mangongo is aware the wounded Tigers cannot be taken lightly as they have the ability to bounce back to draw the series.

Mangongo, who became the first local black coach to preside over a Test match, played down the significance of the huge win from the first Test.

“It’s not about being the first black coach or anything, I just go out there and do my job like any other coach and when I make the players better then I know I’m doing my job,” Mangongo said.

“It’s an on-going process. We know we’ve got a lot of work which we need to do in the batting department and we are not fooling ourselves.

“We have to work hard and make sure that we get it right especially at the top.”

Mangongo will revert to the role of assistant coach when the newly-appointed Andy Waller takes over the team for the ODI series against Bangladesh in Bulawayo next month.

He said: “We needed to work on our technique definitely after we were badly exposed in West Indies, we have been working on it and I’m happy with the progress being shown so far.

“I think there’s great improvement and the desire to improve is there. I think the guys are improving every day.”

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