Tigers in driving seat
Mehedi Hasan Miraz bagged his second five-wicket haul abroad and Shakib Al Hasan picked up four as Bangladesh took a big first-innings lead against Zimbabwe, who lost their last five wickets in just 15 runs on the third day of the lone Test at the Harare Sports Club Ground yesterday.
Despite being comfortably placed on 225 for 2, Zimbabwe were eventually bundled out for 276 in what was a dramatic batting collapse by the host after the post-lunch session.
Miraz, who picked up his eighth five-for in Tests, ended up picking five for 82 from 31 overs while Shakib picked up four for 82 in 34.5 overs, as the visitors brilliantly took the edge over the host.
Shadman Islam (22 not out) and Saif Hasan (20 not out) made a confident start in the second innings and negotiated the final hour of the day without any trouble as Bangladesh possess the upper hand with a lead of 237 runs and will resume the fourth day on 45 without loss.
Takudzwanashe Kaitano showed great temperament on his debut, top-scored with 87 which came off 311 deliveries, and kept Zimbabwe on the hunt. Kaitano's patient innings made him face the third-most deliveries on debut for a Zimbabwean in Test cricket.
He added 61 for the first wicket with Milton Shumba and 115 with skipper Brendon Taylor for the second wicket, but since then Zimbabwe lost their way at the middle. Taylor was dismissed on 81 off 91 balls while going for a slog against Miraz which was the only success for Bangladesh in the first session of the day.
Bangladesh made the comeback in the second session where Shakib dismissed debutant Myers after scoring 27. The visitors picked another couple of wickets after taking the new ball where Maruma was dismissed going for a sweep—the shot that has been the biggest downfall for the majority of the Zimbabwean batsman yesterday. He was dismissed on a duck after facing 17 deliveries.
In the second session, Bangladesh picked up three wickets conceding 35 runs from 35 overs however Kaitano then paired with Regis Chakabva and looked to build another partnership.
Kaitano's patience finally broke when he was caught down the leg side off Shakib. With that innings he is now Zimbabwe's highest scorer on debut as an opener in Tests, leaving behind Grant Flower's 82 run knock.
Miraz then spun the Zimbabwe lower-middle order starting with a brilliant leg-before trapping Donald Tiripano and the off-spinner then bowled Victor Nyauchi on naught as Zimbabwe still needed six runs to avoid the follow-on with two wickets in hand.
Although the hosts managed to avoid the follow-on somehow they were unable to go further. Miraz picked up his fifth wicket to dismiss Blessing Muzarabani and Shakib wrapped things up removing Richard Ngarava as Bangladesh took the grip on the Test match.