Brendan Taylor – ‘I left so many runs out there, it is hurting me at the moment’

Bangladesh
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Zimbabwe captain says he wanted to send a message to his batsmen that the pitch was still good

Captain Brendan Taylor hopes his swashbuckling 92 inspires the rest of his Zimbabwe teammates to salvage a draw on the fifth day against Bangladesh. Taylor struck 16 fours in his 73-ball bonanza but got out with roughly ten overs to spare on the fourth day. The home side also lost the stonewalling Takudzwanashe Kaitano shortly afterwards, leaving them on 140 for 3, and a day to keep Bangladesh at bay.

The way Taylor batted put the visitors on the backfoot for much of the evening session. He drilled cover drive after cover drive, drove the spinners with ease, looking at times like he was batting in a different league than the batter at the other end.

He said that the strokeful innings was intuitive, as he was trying to preempt the Bangladesh bowlers’ plans on a pitch he considered to be almost dead for the bowlers.

“There was no real intent to play with that amount of aggression, but playing instinctively paid off for me,” Taylor said. “I thought that at the end of day four, the wicket will start getting tired. Instead of just sitting around, I wanted to be a little proactive, and try to send a message to the guys that the wicket is still playing okay. Hopefully I have done that.

“I got out at the wrong time, and I felt that I left so many runs out there. It is hurting me at the moment, but there are guys that I have a lot of faith in, as well. It is frustrating (to miss out on the hundred) when you are going that well. You want to kick on (and score the hundred) obviously. From the team’s perspective, it was crucial that I stayed out there for a longer period.”

Taylor said that the rest of the Zimbabwe batters are capable of putting up a good fight on the fifth day and that the overnight batters Dion Myers and nightwatchman Donald Tiripano must stave off the first hour as a first priority.

“We want to start the first hour well. Hopefully we don’t lose a wicket. We have guys who are technically sound and solid. Unfortunately we lost Kaitano in the end there. He has been a pillar for us. But there are guys there who can really front up, which will be the chat tomorrow. There’s no better time to save a game for your country,” he said.

Zimbabwe’s bowlers got punished in Bangladesh’s second innings. Shadman Islam and Najmul Hossain Shanto struck centuries as the home side could take only one wicket, giving away the 476-run lead. But Taylor said that he was happy with how the bowlers worked hard in this Test.

“The attitude has always been good, particularly with the ball as well. The wicket was pretty dead, and the batsmen were going pretty hard at the ball. They were not giving many chances. All I asked my bowlers, was to keep fronting up. They are young guys with great attitude and a lot of commitment. We had to work hard.”

Taylor said that Bangladesh’s experience as a Test side showed as they dominated any time they got set in the middle. “They have shown that they are an experienced side. They have dominated, and when they get in, they make it count. We have certainly learned a lot from how they have gone about their business,” he said.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84