Zimbabwe Hold Slight Edge Despite Bangladesh Fightback
The home side, Zimbabwe continued to hold the upper hand on the first day, picking up two more wickets in the second session, despite dropped catches.
At tea, Bangladesh were 171 for 4. Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan were the unbeaten batsmen at the break as the visitors continued to bat indifferently at the start of the match.
At best the home bowlers tried to maintain a tight line and length, but were still not as good as they were in the first Test. Keegan Meth was the best bowler on show, as he held back the batsmen with his accuracy and frequent movement. Kyle Jarvis bowled too full while Shingi Masakadza wasn’t able to use the bounce properly.
Tamim Iqbal’s early dismissal in the second session was a bonus in Zimbabwe’s bid to take early control of the second Test. They were further rewarded when Mominul Haque wasted his good start by offering a simple catch off Elton Chigumbura.
Shakib and Mushfiqur added 46 for the unbroken fifth wicket partnership, but they too have looked impatient at times. Shakib began with a flurry of rushed shots, with some fortunately bringing him boundaries. He calmed down soon after, ending the session unbeaten on 38. Mushfiqur, batting on 21, has been quiet so far, possibly shaking off the pressure that has been placed on him ahead of the Test match.
Tamim brought much-needed sturdiness to the Bangladesh top-order. He was severe on any full and wide deliveries, scoring six boundaries in his 79-ball innings. In the second session, he would have been expected to make the most of a fine start, but threw it away in haste to reach his half-century.
After spending several minutes on 49, he tapped the ball towards mid-off where the younger of the two Masakadzas was. Shingi swooped in and hit the stumps as Tamim fell well short. He had earlier survived two close run-out chances, in the first over of both sessions incidentally. Brendan Taylor also dropped him in the slips when he was on 24.
Mominul was steadfast till the lunch interval, and afterwards too, but he too joined the soft dismissal parade. In an attempt to keep a rising delivery down, he chipped the ball down the throat of the same fielder. He trudged back after making 23 off 41 balls, and yet another promising innings was nipped in the bud.
It started with Jahurul Islam at the stroke of the first hour’s play. He and Tamim had added 44 for the first wicket before Jahurul holed out in the covers, with Malcolm Waller running back to complete the catch.
The manner of his dismissal was plainly absurd. Jahurul did look restless throughout his hour long stay, but cracked under pressure after making a good start. He tried to blast Meth down the ground but was undone by the bowler’s impressive movement of the ball. Jahurul could have been out thrice before his innings closed at 24.
First he was dropped by Graeme Cremer at gully off Keegan Meth in the second over of the match, similar to how the same fielder had dropped him in the first innings of the first Test. In the fourth and ninth overs, Jahurul survived run out chances, but this innings could have been more substantial had he kept his head..
Mohammad Ashraful followed soon after, toeing a pull shot off Shingi, which was easily caught at gully by Cremer. He too could have been run out had Meth gathered the ball rather than break the stumps too soon at the non-striker’s end in the 16th over.
Bangladesh resume their innings on Friday at 300/6.
Zimbabwe lead the two-test series 1-0.
Godfrey Chris Koti is a sports presenter on Star FM. On the past few international cricket series in Zimbabwe he has done some TV work too. He is also a blogger. You can in touch with him via email to talk about all things sport – chiefkoti[@]3-mob.com