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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 June, 2005, 07:54 GMT 08:54 UK
Positives to take from Durham
Dav Whatmore
By Dav Whatmore
Bangladesh coach

Steve Harmison and Javed Omer collide at Chester-le-Street
We showed what we can do when the sting is out of the pitch

The second innings in Durham was a terrific result for Bangladesh compared to the rest of the series.

And we really needed that, just to reassure ourselves - and a few other people - that we are not as bad as we had made ourselves look.

Looking back over the two Tests, it's fair to say that the prevailing conditions at Lord's and in the first dig of the second Test were against us.

They were just so different to anything we have seen before.

Bangladeshi cricketers just aren't used to balls darting off greenish pitches and they were in no shape to do themselves justice on their first tour of England.

But we showed what we can do when the sting is out of the surface, putting up a score of 300-plus and playing some great shots along the way.

If three of our top four hadn't failed, it would have been even greater.

And it was pleasing to hear the TV commentators speak positively about us. There's been a lot of negative stuff said over the past two weeks - most of which we have deserved - but this made a nice change.

Aftab Ahmed
19-year-old Aftab Ahmed has any amount of potential

I was pleased to see Habibul Bashar stand up and show what he is capable of. It's always important that the captain performs and shows the way to the other players.

He had been very disappointed with his form and was down about it, but he really hit the ball well for his half-century and that had a knock-on effect.

It showed younger guys like Aftab Ahmed that scoring runs against fine opposition is possible.

If Aftab had received better support from some of his batting partners he would have made a hundred, and deservedly so.

I was not the least bit surprised he scored as many runs as he did. He looks in control at the crease, has a good temperament and I think he is a potential match-winner for Bangladesh.

He's got a long way to go and a lot of cricket to play. There will be some frustrations watching this 19-year-old mature because his talent is so raw and natural.

I hope we can cause the odd upset in the NatWest Series

But I knew he had a big score in him and there is plenty more to come when he learns about things like shot selection.

He'll be one player to watch in the NatWest Series, which is a competition we can look forward to with a bit of optimism.

We might be the underdogs against two very strong sides, but I'm looking at us to pinch a win or two.

A one-day game is a two-horse race, so I always tell my players to get in there and play to win.

All it takes is for a couple of batsman to have a really good day out and that can break it open for you.

The most important thing for us, whether we bat first or last, is to start our innings well.

We didn't do too well in the Champions Trophy last year because we lost too many early wickets and that tends to be a recurring theme with our set-up.

But we're working on that, and with our confidence levels back up a bit I'm hoping we can cause the odd upset in the NatWest Series.



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