Zimbabwe is facing Bangladesh in an one-off test in Harare Sports Club, Harare. At the end of Day 2, both the teams were somewhat evenly poised, with Bangladesh having a slight advantage. However, at the end of Day 3, Bangladesh in command as Shakib-Mehidy spun web. They are in such a position, that a victory for Zimbabwe is almost out of the context. The match could well be over tomorrow when Bangladesh comes out to bat. They have a massive lead of 237 runs with 10 wickets in hand. Mehidy Hasan (5/82) and Shakib Al Hasan (4/82) bowled brilliantly to skittle out Zimbabwe for 276 despite half-centuries from Takudzwanashe Kaitano and Brendan Taylor.
Bangladesh bowlers rose to the occasion to bring a momentum shift in the match. Zimbabwe who were positioned comfortably at 225/2 saw a collapse that left them all out for 276. With a lead of 237 runs, Bangladesh aimed to pose a daunting target for the hosts. The day resumed with Brendan Taylor and Takudzwanashe Kaitano at the crease knocking away at 37* and 33* respectively. There were hardly any errors in judgement made by the hosts in their reply. Barring Taylor’s wicket in the morning session, they looked settled to give a big fightback. The pair added 115 runs for the first wicket before Taylor succumbed to Mehidy Hasan for a well-made 81 that came in 92 deliveries.
Bangladesh in command as Shakib-Mehidy spun web against Zimbabwe :
With the batters in command, the bowlers found little to no assistance from the pitch despite a controlled bowling effort from Bangladesh pacers. Zimbabwe added 95 runs in the first session taking the lead below 260 into lunch. The afternoon session saw a complete turnaround in the chain of command. The visitors whipped away three important wickets courtesy of Shakib Al Hasan and Taskin Ahmed. Dion Myers (27) formed a crucial 49-run partnership with Kaitano. However, a slog sweep off Shakib was caught on the boundary ropes by Mehidy Hasan. From 225/2 the hosts witnessed a collapse triggered by Myers’ scalp. Mehidy Hasan brought his A-game and made the ball talk on a pitch that had been deemed a batting paradise. Kaitano, for a debutant, left an impressive impression.
He battled for 311 balls to make 87 which stands as the highest score registered by a Zimbabwe player on debut. His gritty knock came to an end in an anti-climatic fashion with a faint tickle down the leg-side which was caught by keeper Liton Das. However, the promising start didn’t ensure a promising recovery. Thereafter, Mehidy snared a total of four wickets in a span of just 19 deliveries to complete his eighth five-wicket haul. The hosts crumbled to 276/10 with Regis Chakabva remaining unbeaten on 31* while Shakib returned with figures of 4/82. Bangladesh came out to bat with a hefty lead of 192 runs which they expanded to 237 runs at stumps. Day four will resume with the openers, Shadman Islam (22*) and Saif Hassan (20*) still going strong to build upon the solid platform.
Brief Score :
Bangladesh 1st Innings : 468/10 (126 overs) Mahmudullah: 150* runs off 278 balls Blessing Muzarabani: 29-4-94-4 Zimbabwe 1st Innings : 276/10 (111.5 overs) Takudzwanashe Kaitano: 87 runs off 311 balls Mehidy Hasan: 31-5-82-5 Bangladesh 2nd Innings : 170/10 (73 overs) Shadman Islam: 22* runs off 52 balls Roy Kaia: 1-0-2-0