1st Test

Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 2011

At Harare, August 4-8, 2011. Zimbabwe won by 130 runs. Toss: Bangladesh. Test debuts: C. R. Ervine, K. M. Jarvis, T. M. K. Mawoyo, B. V. Vitori.

Zimbabwe erased the unhappiness of exile by surging to a convincing victory 15 balls after lunch on the fifth day. Of the team that had last played a Test, against India in September 2005, only Taylor, Masakadza and Taibu remained - though four others had previous Test experience - while Heath Streak was now the bowling coach. Yet each played a crucial role in their country's ninth Test win, their first since February 2004 and their fifth in nine games against Bangladesh. The Zimbabweans celebrated at a local hotel with a rousing dhindhindi, the Shona word for party, which roared into the night with the kind of gusto usually reserved for the end of a war.

Hardened into a team by the experience scavenged from 108 one-day internationals during the non-Test years, Zimbabwe - one careless collapse aside - showed discipline and patience with the bat and refreshing energy with the ball, while Taylor earned bonus points for an enterprising declaration that set Bangladesh 375 in four sessions. Taylor also became the seventh player - and the second Zimbabwean, after Dave Houghton - to register his maiden century in his first Test as captain, while Masakadza added a second ten years after his first.

Zimbabwe's previously pedestrian attack was fitted with a pair of jet engines. Brian Vitori, a burly, bustling left-armer, consistently bent the ball back into the right-handers, and Kyle Jarvis (son of former Test seamer Malcolm) bowled with pace. By contrast, Bangladesh's batsmen lacked purpose and belief in their first Test since Old Trafford in June 2010, and their bowlers - even the left-arm spinners, who in the past had flummoxed the Zimbabweans - caused little anxiety.

Bangladesh had won the toss and declined to bat on a pitch that sported plenty of grass - much of it khaki rather than green. Consequently, movement off the seam was manageable, and the bounce remained consistent throughout. Set on their way by four overthrows in the second over, Sibanda and Tino Mawoyo eased to a century opening stand before lunch, though Masakadza and Taylor disappointingly took their feet off the gas in a final session that produced 73 runs. Still, they reached 304 for two on the second morning. Then Zimbabwe imploded: Masakadza undid more than five hours' vigilance with a loose drive to give Robiul Islam his first Test wicket and trigger a collapse of eight for 66 notable for sluggish footwork and poor shot selection.

Yet anything Zimbabwe could do, Bangladesh could do worse. Vitori took four wickets, and Jarvis - who had two catches dropped - one. But the Bangladeshis themselves accounted for the rest, and the last five wickets went down for 41. Leading by 83, Zimbabwe constructed their second innings around an undefeated hundred from Taylor, who added 113 with Taibu and an unbroken 86 with Craig Ervine to snuff out Bangladeshi hopes.

Taylor's declaration gave his bowlers four sessions to complete victory, but they needed barely two as the Bangladeshis again failed to screw their courage to the sticking place. Tamim Iqbal got off to a lively start, but he became the first of five players to be bowled, and the partying started in earnest when Jarvis trapped Robiul. If this Zimbabwe side probably boasted a better seam attack than the one which went quietly into the night in 2005, they also had something their predecessors lacked: a future.

Man of the Match: B. R. M. Taylor. Close of play: First day, Zimbabwe 264-2 (Masakadza 88, Taylor 40); Second day, Bangladesh 107-3 (Mohammad Ashraful 34, Mahmudullah 4); Third day, Zimbabwe 92-4 (Taylor 5, Taibu 0); Fourth day, Bangladesh 112-3 (Mohammad Ashraful 19, Mushfiqur Rahim 4).

© John Wisden & Co.