It was a day of records for Bangladesh and Mushfiqur Rahim as the experienced cricketer took himself to a new height by smashing a Bangladesh-record third double-hundred while skipper Mominul Haque also scored his ninth Test hundred.
The hosts were eyeing a win in the Test match against Zimbabwe as they declared the first innings after posting a huge total of 560 for six and followed it up with Nayeem Hasan's double blow in the dying hours of the day at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
Zimbabwe still require another 287 runs with eight wickets in hand to avoid an innings defeat. Veteran batsman Brendon Taylor and Kevin Kasuza will resume the fourth day with the score on nine for two. However, there are concerns over the weather as rain is forecast for the next couple of days in the capital.
Mushfiqur remained unbeaten on 203 off 318 balls, which included 28 fours. His third double-hundred also saw him surpass Tamim Iqbal as Bangladesh's highest run-scorer in Tests.
Skipper Mominul Haque also registered his ninth Test hundred after scoring 132 runs and the cricketer kept his promised to score a big knock which he had announced ahead of the Test match.
Resuming the third day on 240 for 3 with Mominul and Mushfiqur well set at the crease, it was expected that the duo would take Bangladesh to a better position on a pitch that was sporting for the third straight day.
Both Mushfiqur and Mominul cashed in right from the start and added 111 runs in 28 overs in the first session.
Mominul reached his hundred off 156 balls and equalled Tamim's tally of nine hundreds in Test cricket, the highest for Bangladesh. Mushfiqur batted in compact fashion and went to lunch just one shy of his seventh hundred, which he registered off 180 balls just after the break.
The pair, who had a great time together at the crease in the past, added their third double-hundred partnerships in Tests for the Tigers, also the most for the country. The 222-run fourth-wicket stand however ended when Mominul was dismissed for 132 off 234 balls, which featured 14 fours, after a sharp return catch by Ainsley Ndlovu.
Mohammad Mithun was unable to stay long and departed cheaply but Liton Das scored fifty and added another hundred with Mushfiqur. Liton however was dismissed after reaching his fifty, victim of another brilliant catch, this time by keeper Regis Chakabva, his fifth dismissal in the innings.
Mushfiqur then paired with Taijul Islam and reached his second double-hundred against Zimbabwe with a single and celebrated the feat in style with an emphatic celebration, which he later dedicated to his only son.
The home side managed to utilise the opportunity after asking Zimbabwe to bat in the dying hours of the day as off-spinner Nayeem bowled opener Prince Masvaure in the first over of the innings.
The youngster picked up his second wicket in the very net ball when he dismissed nightwatchman Donald Tiripano and was on a hattrick before Taylor negotiated it carefully.
Bad light had forced the floodlights to come on even before the Zimbabwean innings, at which point Zimbabwe coach Lalchand Rajput was seen talking to the fourth umpire in the dug-out.