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The Report by Mohammad Isam
April 25, 2013
Bangladesh 300 for 6 (Shakib 81, Mushfiqur 60) v Zimbabwe
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
On a day of nerves from both sets of players, Zimbabwe walked out happier after they picked up enough wickets to justify their decision to bowl. At stumps, Bangladesh were 300 for 6, and it was hard to say whether they, too, would be pleased with the outcome.
The error-ridden day was not pretty to watch at times. The home side almost gave away a good start by their bowlers in the afternoon but fought back through two wickets in the final session. They have the advantage of sitting on a 1-0 lead, which would help them to assess the Test later on.
Keegan Meth continued to bowl with the same discipline as he had in the first Test, keeping the batsmen on a tight leash with his line, length and sudden bursts of big movement. Kyle Jarvis had quite a disappointing day as the team's best quick bowler in the first Test. He bowled too full, and at times too wide. He, however, picked up a wicket late in the day.
Elton Chigumbura took two wickets, both gifted through absurd shots by Mominul Haque and Shakib Al Hasan. Shingi Masakadza also took one wicket, that of Mohammad Ashraful and that, too, off a poor shot.
The visitors had three almost similar sessions, losing two wickets in each. Shakib and Mushfiqur Rahim helped the side to respectability through their 123-run fifth wicket stand after Bangladesh had slipped to 125 for 4 after lunch.
Shakib started off smoothly with three boundaries in his first 15 balls, but soon calmed down and supported Mushfiqur's recovery act. He reached his fifty off 84 balls, before launching into a bit of a four-hitting spree. But he fell in that trap, running out to Chigumbura late in the day to fall for 81 off 118 balls. He has now given away three opportunities to score Test hundreds in his last four Tests.
Mushfiqur, too, batted well, but just when he needed to see off the day, he fell leg-before to Jarvis around 20 minutes before stumps were drawn. He made 60 off 165 balls, an innings which was exactly what many before him could have done.
Tamim Iqbal's return to the line-up was important to the top-order but he was among the six batsmen to succumb to impatience rather than the bowling. He started off nervously before settling down and looking confident as he struck six boundaries. After spending some minutes on 49, the imminence of the landmark got the better of him. He rushed towards the non-striker's end, only to see Masakadza's direct hit catching him short.
Mominul, too, looked committed to a proper innings. But he, too, joined the soft-dismissal parade. In an attempt to keep a rising ball down, he chipped the ball down the throat of extra cover. It was yet another promising innings that was nipped in the bud. It all started with Jahurul Islam at the stroke of the first drinks break.
Jahurul and Tamim added 44 for the first wicket before the former holed out in the covers where Malcolm Waller ran back to complete the catch. Jahurul's restlessness was noticeable throughout his stay in the first hour, but here was a batsman who was again setting himself up for a big innings after blunting out the bowler's attempts.
But as has been his problem after battling out the initial foray, Jahurul tried to blast Meth down the ground and fell. He had earlier survived three chances, being dropped off Meth in the second over of the match as well as two run-out opportunities. Ashraful followed him back to the dressing room soon after to make it 58 for 2. He toed a pull off Masakadza and was easily caught at gully. His innings could have been even shorter than the 4 he made if Meth could have gathered the ball cleanly in the 18th over.
Tamim, too, could have been run out in the first overs of the first two sessions, and was also dropped catch in the slips. There were chances galore in the final hour of play too. Mushfiqur was dropped at square-leg by Graeme Cremer after he skied a pull before Brendan Taylor dropped Nasir Hossain at slip off Cremer. Ziaur Rahman survived a run-out chance in the 83rd over.
Zimbabwe's fielding was frustrating, but they will remain positive because of the conditions in Harare. Late in the second session and throughout the final session, legspinner Cremer found turn and bounce to his liking which would add to the general sense of advantage which the fast bowlers have felt on this wicket. They could still bank on Bangladesh's impatience in their bid to gain control.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Mohammad Isam
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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