ZIM vs BAN, Only Test, Day 5 Review: Bangladesh thump Zimbabwe convincingly to secure famous overseas win
Playing his final Test, Mahmudullah was awarded the Player of the Match for his unbeaten 150 from the first innings.
A Bangladesh win seemed only a matter of time by the end of the fourth day, and a matter of time is what it proved to be on the final day at Harare, as the visitors thumped Zimbabwe by 220 runs to name themselves the one-off affair and a convincing overseas win.
It was a game of comebacks for the visitors, and that they did dominatingly every time Zimbabwe even slightly managed to put them under the pump. Having been reduced to 8/2 on the first day, which deteriorated further to 132/6, a staggering lower-order rearguard scripted by Mahmudullah and Taskin Ahmed, who added 191 for the ninth wicket, denied Zimbabwe an advantage.
Depleted to some extent in the absence of Craig Ervine and Sean Williams, Zimbabwe had their moments, not least due to the efforts of the skipper Brendan Taylor, who counterattacked in the first innings with a 92-ball 81, and followed that by another assault in the second innings through a 73-ball 92. In debutant Takudzwanashe Kaitano, it seems, the hosts found a reliable top-order batter, who has the gift of patience. What else to associate him with after a 102-ball 7, which followed a 311-ball 87 in the first innings?
But in between Kaitano’s blockathons, there was plenty of leather hunt and uncharacteristic Test cricket involved, with Bangladesh racking up a severe assault with the help of centuries from both Shadman Islam and Najmul Hossain Shanto after the Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Shakib al Hasan wrapped Zimbabwe 192 short of Bangladesh’s first-innings total.
Shanto’s hurried 118-ball 117 in a 196-run second-wicket stand alongside Islam, who scored 115 of his own, albeit much slower than his partner (he played 196 balls), had Zimbabwe in need of doing what is yet to happen in Test cricket’s history: a 477-run chase.
Mehidy Hasan, Taskin Ahmed wrap up Zimbabwe
Resuming their unlikely pursuit on the fifth and final day at 140/3, the Dion Myers-Donald Tiripano duo frustrated Bangladesh bowlers, ensuring that their team did not lose a wicket for more than half of the first session. But Bangladesh’s hero with the ball in the first innings, Miraz, came back to end Myers’ 88-ball vigil, getting him caught at midwicket, and only three balls later trapped Timycen Maruma lbw for a three-ball duck.
Banking on that momentum, when Taskin Ahmed trapped Roy Kaia lbw for a five-ball duck before cleaning up Regis Chakabva for one, the inevitable result wore another layer of surety. Post Lunch, Zimbabwe’s lower-order did their best to hang in – also helped by Bangladesh’s poor fielding – but delaying the result for a few more hours is all that it effectively meant.
Ahmed bagged his fourth when Shakib grabbed Victor Nyauchi in the slips to reduce Zimbabwe to eight-down. Tiripano, who added 34 from 93 alongside Nyauchi, then tested Bangladesh’s patience in an 82-ball stand for the second-last wicket alongside Blessing Muzarabani, but his 144-ball stay ended with him nicking Ebadot Hossain to Liton Das behind. Miraz struck soon, knocking Richard Ngarava’s stumps down to claim his ninth wicket of the match, and accomplish a victorious end to a long-time servant, and the Player of the Match Mahmudullah in his valedictory Test.