Even a draw is a stiff challenge for us: Brendan Taylor
Brendan Taylor (AFP Image)

Bangladesh might have the upper hand of Zimbabwe with a hefty 218-run lead, but Brendan Taylor believes his side has a chance of making a comeback in the second Test at Dhaka, while admitting that the task at hand is pretty daunting. Zimbabwe, in reply to Bangladesh 522/7, were bowled out for 304 with Taylor and Peter Moore resisting with a 138-run stand to offer some hope, but once both batsmen departed, Taijul Islam spun Bangladesh to top.

“It’s not over. It’s certainly not. But it’s going to be a monumental challenge for us to even draw this game. We’ve batted 105 overs. If we bat four sessions, that’s 120 overs on day five. Realistically, it will be a miracle for us to draw this game, but we have to have the belief that we have the batters and mental strength to do that,” said Taylor after the day’s play.

“I can’t tell you what it will mean for us. It will be an incredible feeling and a wonderful achievement. Bangladesh have generally dominated us in Bangladesh for years. So even just to get a Test win, that was huge in Khulna. That’s something that I will cherish for a long time. There’s a lot to play for. The discussion tonight will be that we have a lot to play for. There’s no lying down and giving up, we have to keep fighting.”

With Zimbabwe over 200 runs behind, Taylor pointed out that if he was the Bangladesh captain, he would not hesitate in enforcing the follow on. “We’re still behind. They’re 220 runs ahead. If I was Bangladesh I would bowl again because even if we get 300, Bangladesh chase 80. They might want to bat for two sessions, and we’re certainly behind. When a team gets 500, they very seldom lose. We needed to get at least 400-450 in this innings to give ourselves a real chance,” said Taylor.

“We have to show a lot of character in our second innings, whenever that is, to try and win the series. Because it’s only going to get harder from tomorrow. If we go into day five, the wicket’s going to break up and it will make life extremely difficult. If Taijul gets five wickets in the first innings, second innings he’s going to be even harder to face.”

Happy with his knock, Taylor added that he always relished playing against Bangladesh, who have an effective spin-heavy attack up their ranks.

“It is a good feeling. The last few years, the three-Test match series in 2014 was a tough series, and it always is tough playing here against a world class spin attack. So I’m thrilled with that, but we’re still a long way behind in the game. When Bangladesh have 500, it’s very hard to lose from that position. So we’ve got a lot to play for still,” said Taylor.

“Obviously I’ve played more Test matches against Bangladesh, but I’ve always felt they’re one of the harder teams to play because of their spinners. Over the years Razzak, Shakib, even Mohammed Rafique, they’ve always been a tough challenge, whether we play in Harare or Bulawayo, it’s always tough. So today is probably one of my better ones. Hopefully we can take something out of the game and bat as long as we can when it’s going to be very difficult.”