Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, Only Test, Harare, 4th day August 7, 2011

Taylor ton keeps Zimbabwe ahead


Bangladesh 287 and 112 for 3 (Tamim 43) need another 263 runs to beat Zimbabwe 370 and 291 for 5 dec (Taylor 105*, Taibu 59)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A century from Brendan Taylor helped Zimbabwe forge ahead from an overnight 92 for 4 to a solid position on the fourth day in Harare. During his hundred, his first in Tests and in his first match as captain, Taylor shared in a composed and profitable fifth-wicket partnership with Tatenda Taibu and upped the ante with Craig Ervine at the end. Zimbabwe declared at tea, earlier than expected, setting Bangladesh 375 in four sessions.

The visitor's openers made an enterprising start, racing to 50 in the ninth over to erode Zimbabwe's advantage. The home fans had a little less to worry about at stumps though, as Tamim Iqbal was bowled and a destructive, two-wicket burst from Kyle Jarvis reduced Bangladesh to 112 for 3. Jarvis removed Imrul Kayes and Shahriar Nafees after Chris Mpofu had taken out Tamim. Though the late strikes put Zimbabwe slightly ahead, what has been an evenly matched and contested game is in for a fascinating final day.

Bangladesh's bowlers lacked penetration again and presented almost no threat to the batsmen. Although Rubel Hossain started off generating good pace and the spinners worked to squeeze Zimbabwe with attacking field settings, they were unable to make any significant breakthroughs. They simply allowed too many scoring shots and ended up leaving themselves a massive task with the bat.

Hossain looked dangerous at the beginning of the day especially when he was able to bowl full and move the ball into the batsmen. But, after five overs without creating the early breakthrough Bangladesh needed, Shakib Al Hasan replaced him with Abdur Razzak. With spin from both ends, Tatenda Taibu was allowed to become the architect of Zimbabwe's strike rotation.

His confidence against spin and footwork that would make a ballerina proud helped Taibu boss the Bangladesh bowlers and score all around the wicket, sweeping and driving with equal distinction. He brought up a feisty half-century with a typical jig down the track and single to mid-off. Taylor, whose feet have never been quite as good as Taibu's, played a watchful knock from the other end, maintaining the cautious approach he had employed in the first innings.

With the left-arm spinners losing motivation, runs came easily for the Zimbabwe batsmen who threaded the ball through the gaps and ran well between the wickets, in addition to punishing anything wayward that came their way. Shakib bowled a particularly poor line later in his ten-over spell, veering too much on the leg side. After conceding five boundaries in three overs he took himself off and brought Mahmudullah on.

Together with Razzak, he shackled the batsmen who managed to score just nine runs in the ten overs before lunch. Taylor and Taibu could have succumbed to frustration in that period, but instead played a strong defensive game to take Zimbabwe to the break unharmed.

The second session started in a similarly cautious fashion, with Bangladesh ambling to their fielding positions and moving around the park slowly, trying to kill off any momentum in the match. They bowled just 12 overs in the first hour after lunch, compared to the 17.3 they managed in the first hour of the morning session.

Shafiul Islam was used for the first time in the day and bowled a line wide of off stump, while varying his lengths. After five, slow overs Taibu decided it was time to accelerate and in his first attempt at taking Shafiul on, with a smashing drive, was caught at deep extra cover. Taibu perished in the cause but Taylor and Craig Ervine were able to build the lead, as they upped the run rate, instead of merely biding time.

They took three overs to get their eye in and then Taylor drove Shafiul through midwicket to take the lead past 300. Ervine had the freedom to play his shots and executed a magnificent pull off Mahmudullah over midwicket and a sublime drive through the covers. The pair took on the fielders, putting pressure on them as they ran quickly and with assurance.

Taylor came into his own as the session drew to a close, with a few classic drives and reached his century with a sweep to backward square leg. Taylor is the second Zimbabwe captain to score his maiden century in his first match as captain, the other being David Houghton.

His sporting declaration during tea added to the intrigue of this Test match. Zimbabwe gave themselves 120 overs to bowl Bangladesh out while setting the opposition a required run-rate of just over three. It was an invite that the Bangladesh openers were not going to turn down and they set about their task with more intent than their bowlers had shown earlier.

Even though left-armer Brian Vitori was extracting the same movement as he has done through the match, Tamim Iqbal had his determined expression on and he was sticking to it. He battled against the away movement and his first boundary came from an edge that flew to third man but he soon found the middle of the bat. He slashed at anything wide and allowed Kayes to be a silent partner most of the time.

Tamim was in a hurry and kept the run-rate at almost five and with him at the crease, Zimbabwe didn't seem to have a plan. Their short balls were being picked early and their fuller deliveries going too wide. The opening bowlers were taken off and the more experienced hands of Elton Chigumbura and Mpofu were given the task of bowling to Tamim. Mpofu chose to go round the wicket and the plan worked immediately, with the angle causing a length delivery to uproot offstump.

Kayes and Nafees could not continue at the same rate, especially against the containing bowlers, who bowled tight lines. After they pulled the run-rate back to four, Jarvis was brought back and was rewarded by forcing Kayes to play at a ball that jagged into him, only to get the edge. Jarvis continued applying pressure, staying close to off stump, and bagged a late wicket when he chose to go round the wicket to Nafees and bowled him as he tried to drive. Mohammad Ashraful and Mushfiqur Rahim played out the rest of the day without being too defensive.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mahjut on August 8, 2011, 19:21 GMT

    Mr David Saurav Hussey Gangully...I have to agree with Mushona here, there are over 3 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora - many of whom, like me, are passionate about Zimbabwe cricket (and will pay for any channel offering the chance to view - so revenue is still available). I am not in total agreement about the fact that traditional cricket lovers are leaving (they are, but not in statistically greater numbers than football supporters) - in fact i would even suggest the cricket lovers in zimbabwe are now quite a stable demographic. One thing is certain, the game has been revived by the Franchises and interest in playing for Zimbabwe has grown, if anything, with the return of the likes of Panyangara, (Watambwa too I think), Lamb even people like Compton are now showing interest (one almost expects the likes of Ireland and Ervine to return - not that they're needed!). It's a one-off test so i won't speculate on the result of a 3 test series. I'm just content right now!!! Keep well !!!

  • arup on August 8, 2011, 10:21 GMT

    bangladesh should improve much....... bt they don't have many test matches.... icc should give them many test match

  • Ajay on August 8, 2011, 8:47 GMT

    Taylor is the A.B.De Villiers of Zimbabwe.

  • spirit on August 8, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    as an indian fan we wish BD team to get strong which will make competition among asian nations more stronger but its frustrating to see them struggle every now and then,i m unable to understand y they r struggling so much,BD already played 65test matches plus many ODI's which i think is enough experience to make a good enough team,if u look at current england side then u can see that most players came after 2005(tremlett,broad,bresnan,cook,bell in 2004,morgan,prior,swann etc),infact most of the test teams has players who debuted in the last4-5yrs and they r still a good side,the current aus team,pak is also very inexperienced but still a good team..its buffling to understand,maybe its their domestic structure but no subcontinent nation has good domestic structure..maybe its just a mental issue..heartening to see zim making a good comeback...

  • Blessing on August 8, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    @David Saurav Hussey Gangully I fail to get your logic, I thought test status was dependant on a good game not attendance figures. The total population of Zim is just +/- 10 mil, with the majority supporting soccer. Also the majority of traditional cricket supporters have been migrating a lot ( economic issues) so in that case the attendance is low but understandable.

  • Rezwan on August 8, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    If it's not a win for BD then it has to be a draw... And they really need to learn that every team plays to win, so never take any team lightly... Zimbabwe has shown remarkable performance whereas Bangladesh still lacks a lot... They really need self confidence and they really need to maintain their style of playing...

  • Dummy4 on August 8, 2011, 5:27 GMT

    can match go to a draw i think it must be draw

  • Muhammad Rakibul on August 8, 2011, 5:05 GMT

    I'm frustrated to see some BD fans r making comparison with SL & IND. That's disappointing 4m them. I'm also fan of BD. I think we should only think about our faults & should give constructive recommendations for our improvement. With a poor domestic structure like BD, no team could b like SL or IND or PAK. BD haven't any good 4 day competition like other Test nations. NCL isn't effective as it has no permanent schedule. Playing only 5-9 4day match per year, no emerging player can compete top level. The ordinary performances by BD players in Harare test is a consequence of it. The craze of fans only inspire players but won't improve their quality. So we need a very professional domestic tournament like County, Sheffield Shield or at lest like Ranji or Qaede azam Trophy, Other wise, (I afraid) BD 'll b Zim of next decade !!

  • Dummy4 on August 8, 2011, 4:47 GMT

    I honestly say that Ban have no hope to save this match, may be Zim will win by 100+ runs. Its so shame & yes , ICC should think about this or BCB should take a decision like Zim to stay out from test cricket.

  • Dummy4 on August 8, 2011, 4:47 GMT

    I wont go for a big argument abt BD team,but it's not fair to say that BD doesn't deserve test status. NZ took 45yrs to win there 1st test. Only 45yrs!! BD cricket is improving,we have gr8 cricketers like Tamim,Kayes,Nafees,Junaid,Mushfiq,Shakib,Mashrafee,Riyad. They sometimes stunned the cricket world. Just give them a chance,support them. Dont tell me guys,that u help ur own lil bro when they need help! If BD have good coaches,they can improve their technique and become more consistent. Yeah,Zim played well n hats off to them,but BD has a chance to win the match. Ash,Mush n Shakib need to go upto their standard. They have to play wid calm mind n bat until the last minute. Tamim was so irresponsible to throw his wicket,but others should stand now. They can do it. But any silly mistake can cause a gr8 damage. Btw,I wont talk abt India n Indians but just one thing I wanna say that if u can,then support BD team. It will be very useful n inspiring to BD cricket and world cricket.

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