Recent Match Report – Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Only Test 2020

Bangladesh 560 for 6 declared (Rahim 203*, Haque 132) beat Zimbabwe 265 (Ervine 107, Hasan 4-70, Jayed 4-71) and 189 (Ervine 43, Hasan 5-82, Islam 4-78) by an innings and 106 runs

Nayeem Hasan spun Bangladesh to a massive victory in the one-off Test in Mirpur, taking 5 for 82 in Zimbabwe’s second innings to give him a match haul of 9 for 152 and secure victory for the hosts by an innings and 106 runs. Hasan was well supported by Taijul Islam, the pair bowling in tandem for much of the day as dark, heavy clouds and the odd spot of drizzle enveloped the ground. Islam picked up four wickets of his own, removing No. 10 Charlton Tshuma to end the game before tea.

The visitors started the day two wickets down, and their slim prospects of saving the game were almost immediately dented when opener Kevin Kasuza was squared up by one from Islam that spun across him, taking the shoulder of the bat and landing in the lap of Mohammad Mithun at second slip.

Faced with the unlikely prospect of a two-day battle for survival, with rain around and the possibility of a curtailed game, Zimbabwe’s top order might have been expected to dig in defensively, but their tactic was precisely the opposite. Whatever the thinking was behind their aggressive intent, the execution was lacking and a succession of batsmen fell to attacking aerial shots that were pouched at deep square leg, midwicket, mid-on and deep mid-off. The close-in fielders around the bat were not needed at all, despite the conditions and the quality of the spinners on show.

As Zimbabwe’s senior batsman, Brendan Taylor’s was the prized wicket for Bangladesh, and he gifted it to them when he top-edged a bold sweep in Hasan’s very first over of the morning.

And the shots kept on coming. Sikandar Raza whipped Hasan through square leg with a one-handed sweep early in his innings, while Craig Ervine was even more proactive, repeatedly stepping out to hit Hasan over the top. Raza raised the fifty stand by powering Islam well over long-on for his first six, the runs in their partnership having flowed at close to five an over, while Ervine raced into the 40s at virtually a run a ball.

But Hasan kept probing, and might have removed Zimbabwe’s captain had Liton Das been able to complete a stumping opportunity 15 minutes before the lunch interval. Drawn out of his crease, Ervine was beaten by the turn and bounce, but so was Das, the ball rearing up to hit him on the shoulder.

The error wasn’t a costly one. Moments before the break, Raza tapped Islam towards point and the batting pair chanced a quick single. But Mominul Haque was onto the ball in a flash, hurling in a direct hit to catch Ervine short of his ground: the first time Ervine has been run-out in this format, coming in a situation where quick runs were distinctly not at a premium.

While Timycen Maruma held up an end and kept the scoreboard ticking over with some bristling strokeplay, Bangladesh chipped away at the other end. Raza aimed a pull at Islam but didn’t keep it down, Mushfiqur Rahim leaping up from his position at midwicket to hold onto the chance. Next to go was Regis Chakabva, who settled in calmly and then, one ball before the drinks break, aimed a wild drive at Islam to chip a catch to Tamim Iqbal at mid-on.

Ainsley Ndlovu slapped his first ball for four and played all around his second to be trapped lbw, and with the situation increasingly hopeless, Maruma then helped Hasan to his second Test five-for with a lofted drive that only got as far as Iqbal at deep mid-off. Tailenders Victor Nyauchi and Tshuma briefly delayed the inevitable, and it was left to Islam to wrap things up as an arm ball got the better of Tshuma.

While it was their spinners that closed out the game, Bangladesh shone with bat and ball alike over the last four days to storm to Haque’s first victory as captain after a string of heavy defeats and some significant changes in personnel. A new-look team cruised to Bangladesh’s second innings win in Tests, coming 450 days since their first, against West Indies in December 2018, a game which was also their last win in this format. On current form, they will likely be celebrating a few more victories in the one-day series to come.

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