20 Glorious Moments in Tests (2)

Javed – the last man standing

Samiur Rahman | Published: 22:05, Jun 06,2020 | Updated: 22:22, Jun 06,2020

 
 

A file photo from April 22, 2001 shows Bangladesh opener Javed Omar returning to the pavilion after carrying the bat at the end of their first Test against Zimbabwe at Bulawayo. — AFP photo

On June 26, 2020 Bangladesh will complete 20 years of gaining its Test status. To commemorate the milestone New Age looks back at 20 Glorious Moments of Bangladesh in Test cricket of the past two decades.

 

After more than five months since the inaugural Test, Bangladesh cricket team embarked on their first away tour and played their first Test outside the country in April, 2001 against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo.

At that time Zimbabwe were a superior side to Bangladesh and predictably the Test ended on the fourth day with the visitors suffering a crushing innings and 32-run defeat.

But unconventionally the man-of-the-match award went to a player from the defeated side.

It was Bangladesh opener Javed Omar, who became only the third cricketer in history to carry the bat through the innings on debut with 85 runs.

The right-handed batsman, who was well known for his defensive approach in local circuit, was ignored in the inaugural Test against India but his determination paved his way for the tour of Zimbabwe.

‘I was hurt but not frustrated for not being the part of inaugural Test. I worked harder, increased personal training and tried to execute the experiences I gained while playing for Surrey in England,’ Javed told New Age.

‘There Sanjay Bangar and I were the key overseas players, we trained a lot together. There were 60 over matches at that time in county cricket, so we had the opportunity to bat long which really helped in Test matches.’

Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak won the toss and put Bangladesh into bat in a green wicket. The visitors were bowled out for 257 runs in their first innings with Javed making 62 while Aminul Islam top scored with 84.

In reply, Zimbabwe made 457 runs in their first innings, though Bangladesh gained some early success from left arm pacer Manjurul Islam, who finished with 6-81.

Trailing by 200 runs, Bangladesh’s inexperience got exposed in the second innings as the Zimbabwean pace trident of – Heath Streak, Andy Blignaut and Brighton Watamba – claimed eight wickets to bowl them out for 168.

The only shining part for the visitors was the sole endeavour from Javed, who opened the innings and remained the last man standing.

With the effort, Javed became the 35th batsman in Test history to carry the bat through an innings. 

He also became the first Bangladeshi and 18th batsman in Test cricket to score a fifty in each innings on debut.

Though that innings made Javed the first Bangladeshi player to win player of the match award in Tests, he believed he could have scored a century on debut with a little support from team-mates.

‘I expected Pilot [Khaled Mashud] would hang on with me a little longer. I don’t regret it but I feel I was very close to scoring a hundred on debut.’

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