Tigers collapse yet again
Bangladesh may not have been able to become a consistent side in Test cricket, but their batsman have certainly remained consistent in a negative way by not reaching the 200-run mark in their last seven innings.
Their last seven scores read 110, 123, 43, 144, 149, 168 and 143, with the 43 in West Indies in July this year being their lowest ever Test total.
The latest failure came against Zimbabwe, the lowest-ranked Test side, on home soil as the Tigers batted like amateurs to be bundled out for 143 runs in their first innings on the second day of the first Test at the Sylhet International Stadium yesterday.
Astonishingly, five of the 10 Bangladesh wickets came from edges to the slip cordon. Already leading by 140 runs with 10 wickets in hand, Zimbabwe will look to cash in and take a vice grip of the Test match when they resume their second innings on one without loss today.
Yesterday morning, left-arm spinner Taijul Islam's six wickets helped Bangladesh bowl out Zimbabwe for 282 in their first innings. The visitors could add just 46 runs to their overnight score before losing their last five wickets before lunch.
Taijul's effort, however, went in vain after the home batsmen gift-wrapped the hard-won momentum and handed it to the visitors.
Openers Liton Das and Imrul Kayes added only eight runs in 3.5 overs and after the latter departed, it went from bad to worse as the home side were soon reeling on 49 for five.
The debacle started when Imrul was bowled off an inside edge by pacer Tendai Chatara, which was soon followed by Kyle Jarvis having a wafting Liton caught behind.
The lack of partnerships has been one of the biggest reasons for Bangladesh's repeated failures, and Nazmul Hossain Shanto -- coming in at number four -- departed playing a pretty similar shot ith negligible feet movement.
Chatara then removed skipper Mahmudullah Riyad in the same over -- the right-hander poked his bat outside his off stump and only manages to edged the ball into the stumps.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Mominul Haque had the daunting task to build a much-needed partnership, and just when the duo looked settled, the small partnership of 30 runs for the fifth wicket was broken when Mominul edged off-spinner Sikandar Raza to slip.
In the first over after tea, Mushfiqur fell when he fished his bat out to a Jarvis delivery and was caught behind for 31.
Mehidi Hasan Miraz was dismissed in comical manner when he top-edged Sean Williams, giving the left-arm spinner a return catch to break a 30-run stand with debutant Ariful Haque.
Ariful was the only Bangladeshi batsman who looked comfortable and was unbeaten on 41 off 96 balls as the Tigers concluded a horrible outing with the bat.
Earlier, Taijul ripped through the Zimbabwe lower order, adding four wickets to the two he took on the first day. He first removed overnight batsman Regis Chakabva on 28, with Shanto taking his second catch of the game at short leg, and followed that by removing Wellington Masakadza.
The other overnight batsman, Peter Moor, remained unbeaten on 63 off 192 balls with six fours but he kept losing partners at the other end.
Nazmul Islam bagged his second wicket by removing Brandon Mavuta before Taijul finished the innings off.
Taijul registered his fourth five-wicket haul in the format and his figures of six for 108 was his second-best in Tests.