Thursday, June 13, 2024

Tigers pull it back on Day Two

Shahriar Nafees’s late dismissal undid a dutiful rearguard action by Bangladesh on the second day in the only Test against Zimbabwe. After the bowlers had made the all-important turnaround early in the piece, the third wicket stand between Nafees and Mohammad Ashraful almost strengthened the Tigers’ position.
At the Harare Sports Club yesterday, the visitors were 107 for three at stumps with Mohammad Ashraful and Mahmudullah Riyad on 34 and four respectively, after Ashraful and Nafees had shared a 66-run third wicket stand which was full of diligence mixed with moments of risk.
Nafees, who was dropped by Tino Mawoyo at third slip on 12 and also survived a disastrous run-out chance on 36, batted for 120 deliveries and struck nine crisp boundaries, his fifth in Test cricket, before his ill-timed sweep dragged a Ray Price delivery on to the wicket quite late in the day.
Ashraful was playing solidly at the other end, some of his shots enough to bring a sense of reassurance of the senior batsman in the middle-order.
Bangladesh are still 263 runs adrift of the home side’s first innings total of 370 all out, from 304-2 in the middle of the first session.
It was Brian Vitori, the most talked-about among Zimbabwe’s four debutants, who took out both Imrul Kayes and Tamim Iqbal in the hour before the tea break.
Imrul snatched at a rising delivery to guide the ball straight at first slip to Ray Price and six overs later, Taylor took a brilliant diving catch to get rid of Tamim, making it 36-2 just a while before tea.
Earlier, Zimbabwe, having started the day on 264-2, lost their next eight wickets for 66 runs in the morning after Robiul Islam removed the centurion Hamilton Masakadza, also ending a 142-run third wicket stand with skipper Brendan Taylor, both scratching around throughout their morning stint regardless of reaching landmarks.
Robiul’s 12-over marathon spell from the City End showed the difference in approach among the Tigers on the second morning. The 24-year-old paceman, who bowled some good balls on the first day, picked up Taylor for 71 off 163 balls after he removed Masakadza for 104 off 244 balls. The young skipper chased a full, wide delivery,
only to give Mushfiqur Rahim a low catch.
Shakib Al Hasan then got into the act straight away, both through his captaincy and his bowling.
His introduction of Mahmudullah Riyad raised a few eyebrows as the off-spinner was the first spinner brought into the attack on the second day but left-hander Craig Ervine was trapped leg-before soon enough to vindicate his decision.
Shakib then picked up three wickets Tatenda Taibu, Elton Chigumbura (caught by Shafiul Islam after three attempts) and Vitori — and with Abdur Razzak’s first and Rubel Hossain’s third, the Tigers quickly got rid of the Zimbabwean tail, despite a few lusty swings by the left-hander towards the end.
ZIMBABWE: First innings 370 (Mawoyo 43, Sibanda 78, Masakadza 104, Taylor 71, Taibu 23; Robiul 2-106, Rubel 3-84, Shakib 3-62)
BANGLADESH: First innings 107 for 3 at stumps (Tamim 15, Nafeez 50, Ashraful 34 not out, Mahmudullah 4 not out; Vitori 2-29)

-With The Daily Star input

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