Sports Desk: Zimbabwe has beat Bangladesh by 151 runs in the first Test of the two-match series at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.
Zimbabwe: 282 & 181
Bangladesh: 143 & 169 (63.1 ov, target 321)
The moment arrived at 1:46pm on the fourth afternoon in Sylhet. Ariful Haque swung hard at Wellington Masakadza, but suffered a fate that most Bangladesh batsmen have off late, his top edge being caught by a jubilant Regis Chakabva.
Zimbabwe fought odds that were stacked against them, but won most sessions in the game with patient batting and bowling. They held their catches too, and dismantled Bangladesh for a 151-run win.
It is only their third overseas Test win and first since November 2001, when the world of cricket was considerably different.
Brandon Mavuta, Sikandar Raza, Kyle Jarvis and Wellington Masakadza combined brilliantly to bowl Bangladesh out for 169 in the second innings. Mavuta was introduced late into the first session, but ended with four wickets, three of which came after lunch.
Mavuta's 4 for 21 were the third best innings figures by a Zimbabwe bowler on debut. But it was Raza who broke Bangladesh's back by removing Imrul Kayes, Liton Das and Mahmudullah at a crucial time. Masakadza finished with two wickets while Jarvis took one.
Bangladesh had gone into the lunch session reeling on 111 for 5, having just lost captain Mahmudullah caught at square-leg attempting a sweep, and Nazmul Hossain Shanto, who timed a rank long-hop to Raza at cover.
Mushfiqur Rahim was the first wicket to fall after the lunch break, when he swept Mavuta down deep square-leg's throat. Wellington Masakadza took a great catch diving forward, but the choice of the shot remained baffling. Soon, Mehidy Hasan and Taijul Islam fell in six balls, getting caught behind and holing out to mid-on respectively.
Mavuta, who had removed Mehidy, then took the wicket of Nazmul Islam to complete his fourth wicket before Ariful fell for a 37-ball 38, to signal victory for Zimbabwe.
At the start of the day, there was some hope for Bangladesh when Imrul Kayes and Liton Das put on 56 for the opening wicket, the first half-century stand by a Bangladeshi pair since January this year. But Imrul, who came into the Test having made 349 runs in the ODI series and had worked hard to reach 43 off 102 balls in this innings, missed a sweep off Raza to be bowled around his legs.
Raza had also taken the first wicket of the Bangladesh innings, trapping Liton Das lbw even though umpire Richard Kettelborough had initially given him not out. But upon review, the spinning delivery was seen hitting middle stump. While the openers did share a crucial stand, the pair survived three chances in total. Brendan Taylor dropped Imrul at first slip while Brian Chari couldn't reach two chances at short-leg, once off each batsman in the 15th over.
Mominu Haquel's woeful Test run continued after he was dismissed for nine, which included two well-struck boundaries. Jarvis tested Mominul outside off-stump and it was this interplay that brought about his downfall. After beating his tentative push with a delivery that held its line, Jarvis followed it with another that was leaving the batsman, but a weak push took the inside edge and thudded into the stumps.
risingbd/Nov 6, 2018/Mukul