Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam claimed 4-47 following his 6-108 in the first innings and completed his first career 10-for but Zimbabwe kept them aloft over Bangladesh on the third day of the first cricket Test on Monday.
Bangladesh’s highest successful fourth innings chase is 217-6 against West Indies at St George’s in 2009. Bangladesh indeed only thrice scored over 300 runs in the fourth innings, including their highest 413 against Sri Lanka in 2008. All however came at losing-cause. Sean Williams, who too had showed good application until then, followed in his captain’s footsteps by attempting a reverse sweep off Taijul and was cleaned up. The wicket of Williams opened the floodgates for the left-arm spinner to rip through the batting unit. Taijul dismissed Peter Moor off the very next ball, with the batsman tamely poking it to the fielder at silly mid off.
Sikandar Raza, who had played with a touch of fearlessness, evidenced by the six he lofted off Mehidy, was the next one to walk back to the pavilion. The all rounder played inside the line of the ball and was cleaned up. With that wicket, Taijul didn’t just snare his maiden 10-for, but also went past Mashrafe Mortaza to become the third highest wicket-taker for Bangladesh in Tests. Regis Chakabva and Wellington Masakadza, both of whom survived a few close calls, steadied the innings and steered the tourists to the break.
Earlier, Zimbabwe’s overnight batsmen, Hamilton Masakadza and Brian Chari, began on a cautious note. Chari, who took 33 deliveries to score just four runs, was the first one to be dismissed, cleaned up by Mehidy. The experienced Brendan Taylor replaced Chari and looked to take the aggressive approach. The right-handed batsman mainly employed the slog sweep against Mehidy and cracked a lofted shot over mid off while facing Taijul Islam to put pressure back on Bangladesh’s spinners.
Brief scores: Zimbabwe 282 (Sean Williams 88, Peter Moor 63*; Taijul Islam 6-108) and 165/6 (Hamilton Masakadza 48; Taijul Islam 4-47) lead Bangladesh 143 (Ariful Haque 41*; Tendai Chatara 3-19) by 304 runs

Sports Desk