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The Report by Mohammad Isam
April 19, 2013
Zimbabwe 389 and 187 for 7 (Taylor 80*, Robiul 6-55) lead Bangladesh 134 (Masakadza 4-32, Jarvis 4-40) by 442 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Zimbabwe remained on course for their first Test win in nearly two years, ending the third day at 187 for 7 with a convincing lead of 442, as Brendan Taylor took charge on a bowler-dominated day.
He was unbeaten on 80 in the second innings, to add to his 171 that shaped Zimbabwe's 389. Taylor, however, didn't find any help from the top or middle-order, which was dismantled single-handedly by Robiul Islam. The pace bowler took the first six Zimbabwe wickets to fall, his maiden Test five-for and the first by any Bangladeshi pace bowler since June 2010.
But Robiul's 6 for 55 didn't take away any advantages from Zimbabwe. Graeme Cremer once again offered resistance before he was run out for 43, bettering his previous highest Test score from the first innings. He and Taylor added 79 for the seventh wicket, rounding off a very good day for the hosts.
Zimbabwe began the day by triggering a massive collapse in the visitors' batting line-up. Bangladesh went on to lose nine wickets for just 32 runs, giving away their last five wickets without scoring a run. They ended their first innings on 134 runs, trailing by 255, but Taylor didn't enforce the follow-on.
Instead, he let his young pace attack put their feet up for some time, after their efforts in the morning put Zimbabwe ahead. Kyle Jarvis and Shingirai Masakadza picked up four wickets each, while debutant Keegan Meth took two in a lengthy spell.
It was Meth's medium-paced seam bowling that struck first. He ended Jahurul Islam's promising 43 although the batsman had slowed down considerably on the third morning. He had added just five runs off 35 balls before he was trapped leg-before in the 11th over of the day. Mahmudullah prodded needlessly at an away-going delivery and dragged it back onto his stumps to give Meth his second wicket. Bangladesh's good work from the previous evening was coming undone.
Bangladesh's over-reliance on a defensive approach, although it looked sensible at the onset, cost them dearly. The second-wicket pair between Ashraful and Jahurul added only seven runs in 10.5 overs on the third morning and soon after, the batting imploded. As soon as Jahurul and Mahmudullah fell, Shakib Al Hasan tried to up the ante but wasn't successful.
Ashraful's poor shot was not much of a surprise with his career in mind, but in the context of his 88-ball innings it was actually a shock that he had actually pulled that ball in the same over of Shakib's dismissal. Mushfiqur Rahim and Nasir Hossain have been Bangladesh's saviour in many a collapse over the last two years, but it was a day when nothing worked and whenever the ball was pitched up, the Bangladeshi batsmen succumbed. The timidity goes completely against their recent approaches of solidity this season, but it was a reminder that they are still prone of collapsing in a mighty heap.
Masakadza, playing his second Test, was the most successful bowler as he removed three top batsmen in the space of four overs. Shakib couldn't keep a bouncing delivery down, guiding a simple catch to Vusi Sibanda at gully. Ashraful was out a ball later, giving an easy catch to Malcolm Waller at square-leg. It was a waste of diligence after he had batted well for more than two hours. He was dismissed for 38, the last Bangladesh batsman to get to double figures in the first innings.
Mushfiqur was trapped leg-before by Masakadza, before he finished off Bangladesh's misery with the wicket of Sohag Gazi just after lunch.
Meth and Masakadza reaped the rewards of Jarvis' superb first spell. Giving away just one run in six overs, the young pace bowler kept the Bangladesh batsmen either leaving or using the forward defence regularly. Neither Ashraful nor Jahurul could force him off the square, though they had played the same bowler with much ease in his first eight overs the evening before.
Jarvis returned after lunch to remove Nasir Hossain with an away-going delivery after sucking him in with fuller balls. He added the wickets of Enamul Haque jnr and Rubel Hossain to finish with 4 for 40 from his 16 overs.
Bangladesh's reaction to the collapse came through Robiul, who took the first six wickets. He bowled a beautiful full delivery to bowl Sibanda for the second time in the match. Hamilton Masakadza gave Robiul a simple return catch in his next over, before he got rid of Timycen Maruma with another full delivery. He took three wickets in successive overs before he added Waller's wicket an over later as Zimbabwe slipped to 27 for four.
After the tea break, Robiul had Elton Chigumbura caught at gully by Jahurul Islam to give him a first five-for at this level. Wicketkeeper Richmond Mutumbami missed a late-moving inswinger and was adjudged out leg-before off the next ball. But the Taylor-Cremer partnership rescued Zimbabwe from 85 for 6.
Zimbabwe had lost their last five Tests before this match but against Bangladesh they turned into a competitive unit. The lead is handsome and should be more than enough to give them a well-deserved win but Bangladesh's collapse said a lot about overcompensating on an approach that is relatively new to them.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Mohammad Isam
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