Match finished: Zimbabwe won by 130 runs
Zimbabwe: 370 & 291/5d
Bangladesh: 287 & 244 (57.3 ov)
Zimbabwe have won the one-off Test against Bangladesh by 130 runs in Harare, concluding a successful return to the longer form of the international game.
Bangladesh lost their remaining two wickets for the addition of 16 runs after lunch to close their second innings on 244 chasing an improbable victory target of 375.
Opening the day on 112 for three, the tourists lost wickets steadily in the morning session and when three fell in successive overs the end was near.
Some defiant late hitting by Abdur Razzak only delayed the inevitable as Zimbabwe recorded a comfortable win on their return to Test cricket after their self-imposed exile.
Bangladesh lost Mohammad Ashraful, who had put together a partnership of 38 with Mushfiqur Rahim before he was bowled by Brian Vitori for 39 off an inside edge. When Bangladesh then lost Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim in successive overs the home side closed quickly on victory.
Mahmudullah was caught by Tatenda Taibu off the bowling of Chris Mpofu for 11 and when Shakib was caught by Brendan Taylor off Elton Chigumbura for six the visitors were reeling on 174 for six.
Mushfiqur also fell to Mpofu, this time caught by Craig Ervine, for 28 without further addition to the total. Razak and Shafiul Islam put on a defiant half-century for the eighth wicket before the former was bowled by Chigumbura to leave the total on 224 for eight and Zimbabwe on the verge of victory.
Razzak had smashed 43 of those runs off just 17 balls, including five fours and three sixes, before his dismissal meant Bangladesh’s last hope disappeared in the final over before lunch.
Kyle Jarvis returned after lunch to claim the wickets of Shafiul and Robiul Islam to leave Rubel Hossain unbeaten on eight from a total of 244. Jarvis returned figures of four for 61.
End Of Day: Bangladesh – 112/3 in 30.0 overs (M Ashraful 19, M Rahim 4)
Tea: Zimbabwe – 291/5 in 92.0 overs (BRM Taylor 105, CR Ervine 35
BRM Taylor: 100 off 170 balls (9 x 4
Drinks: Zim – 233/5 in 81.0 overs (BRM Taylor 71, CR Ervine 14)
Day 4 News
Zimbabwe go into the final day of their Test against Bangladesh needing seven wickets for victory after the bowlers responded to Brendan Taylor’s bold declaration by reducing the tourists to 112 for three.
Taylor became the second Zimbabwean in history – and the seventh overall – to hit a maiden Test century in his first match as captain, as Zimbabwe declared their second innings on 291 for five at tea on day four.
That left Bangladesh needing 375 to win from 123 overs, a feat which looked quite possible when their openers put on a brisk 65-run stand at the top of the order.
But Chris Mpofu bowled the dangerous Tamim Iqbal (43) and Kyle Jarvis took two wickets to give Zimbabwe every chance of winning their first match back in Test cricket after a six-year absence, with Bangladesh requiring a further 263 runs on day five.
19 years after Zimbabwe’s first Test captain Dave Houghton hit a century on his country’s debut, Taylor added his name to a niche list by going to three figures shortly before tea, before setting a target which was likely to induce some attacking shots from the Bangladeshi batsmen.
Taylor was unbeaten on 105 and Craig Ervine 35 not out from 55 deliveries, with both batsmen cranking through the gears in the second session after Tatenda Taibu had fallen shortly after lunch, and Taylor taking just 53 balls to score his second fifty after needing 117 for his first.
Taibu went to lunch on 53 not out, but added just six to his total before chipping Shafiul Islam to extra cover as he looked to clear the infield.
Although Ervine took a few overs to get his eye in having endured a wretched run of form since the World Cup, he then started finding the middle of the bat and went on to add 86 with Taylor in less than 18 overs to set up the declaration.
A wicketless opening session had put Zimbabwe back in firm control, with Taibu making most of the running as he breezed to an unbeaten half-century, while Taylor made slower progress to reach lunch on 46 not out from 112 deliveries.
After Zimbabwe’s collapse late on day three had put the match back in the balance, the two batsmen came out with a far more positive mindset to re-establish control.
46 runs were taken in the opening 45 minutes as Taibu and Taylor worked the ball into the gaps and ran an unusually high number of threes.
Taibu was also quick on his feet to the spinners, taking a particular liking to Shakib Al Hasan as he hit the Bangladesh skipper out of the attack by regularly finding the boundary.
However Shakib was replaced by off-spinner Mahmudullah who bowled a more negative line from around the wicket to force Zimbabwe to be more patient, and the scoring slowed down dramatically over the last 45 minutes of the session with just nine runs coming from the last 10 overs.
A more productive second session led Taylor to stick the Bangladeshis back in, and his confidence in his bowlers was rewarded after a nervy, run-filled period when Mpofu came around the wicket to hit the top of Tamim’s off stump as the left-hander shouldered arms.
Jarvis then gained his reward for another sharp spell of bowling when, having beaten the bat on numerous occasions, he finally found the edge of Imrul Kayes’ bat to have the opener caught behind for 31.
The 22-year-old fast bowler wasn’t finished yet, and also used the round-the-wicket approach to full effect as he sent Shariar Nafees’ leg stump cartwheeling to set up an exciting final day at Harare Sports Club.
End Of Day: Zimbabwe – 92/4 in 34.3 overs (BRM Taylor 5, T Taibu 0)
Lunch: Bangladesh – 200/5 in 73.0 overs (S Al Hasan 40, M Rahim 3)
Drinks: Bangladesh – 163/4 in 59.0 overs (M Ashraful 62, S Al Hasan 17)
End Of Day 2 Bangladesh – 107/3 in 46.0 overs (M Ashraful 34, Mahmudullah 4)
Tea: Bangladesh – 38/2 in 12.0 overs (Shahriar Nafees 17, M Ashraful 2)
Innings Break: Zimbabwe – 370/10 in 131.0 overs (KM Jarvis 4)
Lunch: Zimbabwe – 326/6 in 115.3 overs (T Taibu 3)
Drinks: Zimbabwe – 304/3 in 104.0 overs (BRM Taylor 64)
H Masakadza: 100 off 235 balls (8 x 4, 1 x 6)
End Day 1: Zim – 264/2 in 90.0 overs (H Masakadza 88, BRM Taylor 40)
At Tea Zimbabwe 191/2 in 60.0 overs (H Masakadza 56, BRM Taylor 4)
At Drinks: Zim – 144/1 in 44.0 overs (V Sibanda 69, H Masakadza 23)
At Lunch Zim were 102/1 in 30.0 overs (V Sibanda 50, H Masakadza 0)
Zim were put into bat first on a typically sunny, clear but cool day at the Harare Sports Club and went about it very well on the first Test and only test against Bangladesh.
Considering that this is Zimbabwe’s first test in almost six years, their opening stand on the first day was pretty impressive, especially when you take into account that the pitch is expected to offer the seamers some early assistance. It is likely to flatten as the match goes on, Shakib Al Hasan made the expected decision to bowl after winning the toss, something Brendan Taylor admitted he would also have done.
Zimbabwe have 4 newcomers to test cricket in their team, opening batsman Tinotenda Mawoyo, middle-order batsman Craig Ervine, and bowlers Kyle Jarvis and Brian Vitori, who received their caps shortly after the toss. Tatenda Taibu, who created shockwaves through Zimbabwe cricket with his revelations of administrative problems, was in the starting line-up and will bat at No. 6. Zimbabwe played one spinner in Ray Price, who is likely to play a containing role.
Zimbabwe have not played a Test in almost six years, when they lost to India by ten wickets at this ground. Bangladesh also had a mini-hiatus from the longest version of the game. They last played a Test 14 months ago, against England. Bangladesh have never won a Test in Zimbabwe and only one member of the current team, Mohammad Ashraful, has played in a Test against them.
Zimbabwe Team: 1 Vusi Sibanda, 2 Tinotenda Mawoyo, 3 Brendan Taylor (capt & wk), 4 Hamilton Masakadza, 5 Craig Ervine, 6 Tatenda Taibu, 7 Elton Chigumbura, 8 Ray Price, 9 Kyle Jarvis, 10 Brian Vitori, 11 Christopher Mpofu
Bangladesh Team: 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Imrul Kayes , 3 Shahriar Nafees, 4 Mohammad Ashraful, 5 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Abdur Razzak, 9 Shafiul Islam, 10 Rubel Hossain, 11 Robiul Islam
ODI Series Fixtures
Zim also take on Bangladesh in a series of one day internationals:
- First ODI: 12 August, Harare
- Second ODI: 14 August, Harare
- Third ODI: 16 August, Harare
- Fourth ODI: 19 August, Bulawayo
- Fifth ODI: 21 August, Bulawayo