Zimbabwe complete massive win
Zimbabwe 389 (Taylor 171, Waller 55) and 227 for 7 dec (Taylor 102*, Robiul 6-71) beat Bangladesh 134 (Jahurul 43, Jarvis 4-40, S Masakadza 4-32) and 147 (Cremer 4-4, Jarvis 3-75) by 335 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Zimbabwe lifted themselves above Bangladesh's international stature with the whopping 335-run win in the first Test in Harare. Brendan Taylor's twin centuries and skillful swing and seam bowling finished off the game inside four days, as Zimbabwe took a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
The game ended when Kyle Jarvis took a magnificent catch at deep fine-leg to give Graeme Cremer his fourth wicket, that of Robiul Islam, to bowl out Bangladesh for just 147. Earlier in the day, Zimbabwe declared their second innings on 227 for 7, setting Bangladesh an improbable 483.
Bangladesh, a long-time rival at the bottom of the world rankings, brings out the best in Zimbabwe, who came into this series on the back of five consecutive Test defeats. This time, Zimbabwe were far ahead mentally as they used their familiarity with the conditions in Harare to mighty effect. It was a crushing loss for the visitors who are at the backend of a much better season, and it will set them back a few steps as they head into the second Test in a must-win situation.
Taylor made 171 and 102 not out in a Test match that, till date, has been his most prolific. He was almost a one-man show, especially in the second innings when one wrong shot from him could have given Bangladesh a sniff. Zimbabwe were 84 for 6 in the second innings, but Taylor took Graeme Cremer under his wing as they staved off a rampant Robiul Islam.
He broke several records on the way too. He became the first Zimbabwe captain to have scored two hundreds in a Test and also has the highest score for a Zimbabwe captain. He also beat his previous best of 117 in the first innings, and added the highest score against Bangladesh under his belt.
With the ball, Zimbabwe were led by the impressive Jarvis. It was a complete domination of the Bangladesh batsmen as he, Shingirai Masakadza and Keegan Meth kept the ball up and used excellent lines. Jarvis finished with figures of 7 for 115 in the match, doing justice to the hype around him. Masakadza took five wickets in the game while Meth kept one end quiet as the other two went about knocking the batsmen over.
Cremer too played a useful hand with the bat, scoring 42 and 43. These were vital runs, as he added two big seventh-wicket partnerships with Taylor that frustrated Bangladesh greatly. He ended the game with four cheap wickets, capping off a fine all-round display. If Bangladesh's first-innings collapse of 9 for 32 was bad enough, their second-innings showing was equally poor. Shahriar Nafees' extra keenness at the start of Test innings cost him yet again. After scoring two consecutive boundaries, he created a big gap between bat and pad, played all over a full delivery from Jarvis and lost his off stump.
After the lunch break, Ashraful hardly got out of his self-induced shell as he looked to drag the game for as long as possible. Mahmudullah at the other end went after the bowling, and soon enough, perished. Whether he had seen substitute Sean Williams stationed at deep square-leg cannot be a valid point for a batsman at this level of cricket, but his innocuous pull shot said much about his muddled mindset. His dismissal again triggered a collapse as Shakib Al Hasan and captain Mushfiqur Rahim fell soon after. Similar to the first innings, Shakib was caught at gully but this time he wasn't fending. He has a unique way of playing a late cut which he guides past gully and point, but this time he couldn't keep the Jarvis delivery down.
Luck too wasn't on Bangladesh's side as two of the dismissals showed. Jahurul Islam was given out caught behind when the ball had appeared to flick his shirt on the way to the wicketkeeper Richmond Mutumbami. A prolonged appeal from the slips created enough pressure on the umpire Tony Hill.
Mushfiqur was brilliantly caught at second slip by Taylor, who jumped to his right and grabbed it one-handed. The Bangladesh captain's dismal Test was in far contrast to his opposite number.
Mohammad Ashraful's dim-witted run-out close to the tea break rounded off a forgettable session for the visitors. Cremer spun one past Ashraful's bat and wicketkeeper Mutumbami's gloves, but Taylor saved the ball at slip. Ashraful, thinking it had beaten Taylor, went off for a run and was duly run out amid loud laughter among the Zimbabweans, as he wasted another opportunity and the home side basked in the glory of a great performance.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here