Tigers thump Zimbabwe by 220 runs in one-off Test
Bangladesh won the one-off Test against hosts Zimbabwe by a massive 220 runs at Harare on the final day of the match. Taskin Ahmed and Mehedi Hasan Miraz bagged four wickets each as Zimbabwe were bowled out for 256 runs in their second innings in chase of the 477-run target set by the Tigers.
Coming into the second session of the fifth and final day of the one-off Test, Zimbabwe tailenders made the Tigers wait but with Tea extended after Donald Tiripano's wicket, Bangladesh bowlers managed to clean up the tail and give Mahmudullah Riyad, who was playing his final Test, a proper send off.
Having started the day at 140 for three, the Zimbabwe tail showed swag and resistance after losing four wickets in the morning session. Donald Tiripano, who hit 52 off 144 deliveries, tried to stage a rearguard action with first Victor Nyauchi and then Blessing Muzarabani, who showed determination to stick to the crease.
Nyauchi tried to fend off a shorter length delivery but managed to edge it to Shakib Al Hasan at slip. Shakib almost dropped it, but held on in the second attempt to give Taskin his fourth wicket.
Tiripano and Muzarabani played out almost another 15 overs, frustrating the Tigers' bowlers. Muzarabani in particular, fined by match referee along with Taskin for his part in the altercation in Bangladesh's first innings, replicated Taskin's break dance move after hitting a four to keep Bangladesh waiting. Tiripano departed to Ebadot Hossain while trying to negate a delivery that kept low, with the ball going to the wicket-keeper after taking an edge. Mehedi castled Richard Ngarava after a 31-ball 10 to give Tigers a resounding victory.
Earlier, Bangladesh bowlers failed to make any breakthrough in the first hour, but the scenario changed completely after the drinks break with Mehedi Hasan Miraz striking twice.
The Zimbabweans, who had scored 19 runs off 17 overs in the first hour without much trouble, lost two wickets in the same over from Miraz.
The off-spinner removed Dion Myers for 26 and Timycen Maruma for naught before Taskin Ahmed produced a fiery spell of pace bowling. The pacer took care of Roy Kaia (0) and Regis Chakabva in consecutive overs. Taskin was unlucky not to get another wicket in the following over as he bowled Victor Nyauchi off a no-ball before a huge caught-behind appeal was turned down.
Mehedi ended with four for 66 runs in the second innings and an overall haul of nine wickets in the one-off Test. His overall figures of 148 runs for nine wickets in this Test was the best Test match figure by a Bangladesh bowler away from home. Taskin, who bowled with fire and determination, getting the ball to reverse in the second innings, ended with four for 82 runs.
Mahmudullah Riyad, who was given a guard of honour by the Bangladesh players before the start of the day's play, was handed over the Player of the Match award for his fighting 150 not out.
"I always like to be a team man. Fortunately, we have won this game and really happy to see the smiles on our team's faces. Liton batted really well. It was pleasing to see his batting. Me and Taskin were having good fun at the crease, though he was at times a bit impatient! We need to handle the pressure of the crunch moments, and I just tried to stick to my basics and score when the chance came," Mahmudullah said at post-match presentations. The right-hander had reportedly expressed wish to retire from Tests on Day Three to his teammates, but there was no mention of that retirement in the presentation ceremony.