Tigers lose Shadman before lunch
Zimbabwe will feel that they have done their job in dictating proceedings with the pace bowlers but the Bangladesh batsmen might find solace in landing a few blows to keep themselves in the game in the first session of the one-off Test against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club today. Bangladesh were 70 for three in 23 overs before Lunch on Day one.
The Tigers, without Tamim Iqbal -- out of the match through an injury -- found it difficult to counter the early new ball. Blessing Muzarabani was impressive from the off and picked up opener Saif Hassan (0) in the very first over with a delivery that angled in from a decent full length and knocked the off stump back. Muzarabani soon brought the slips into play as he made Najmul Hossain dabble at a delivery that was angling away from the batsman. Debutant Myers took the catch as Najmul departed after scoring two and the Tigers' long batting lineup suddenly appeared to be under duress.
Opener Shadman Islam however bided his time at the crease and once accompanied by captain Mominul Haque at the crease, steadied the ship. Mominul in particular was able to put pressure on Zimbabwe pace attack, hitting six fours during an unbeaten 32 off 52 but Zimbabwe were able to make a breakthrough, picking up Shadman (23 off 64) before the lunch interval. Shadman poked at a good-length delivery from Richard Ngarava which shaped back just a bit and Brendan Taylor took the catch at slip cordon. Mushfiqur Rahim was unbeaten on 14-ball 1 before the break.
The pitch looked to have good pace with something there for both batsmen and bowlers. Tigers' team selection however continued to baffle as they picked just two seamers for the Test, instead playing eight recognized batsmen in the lineup along with all-rounder Mehedi Miraz, who has a Test ton. Such decisions, conveying a lack of courage in Test format, had previously backfired and as the match progresses, the spinners' ability may turn the game towards or away from them.