Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Harare, 4th day April 28, 2013

Bangladesh need six wickets to level series


Zimbabwe 282 and 138 for 4 (H Masakadza 46*) need another 263 runs to beat Bangladesh 391 and 291 for 9 dec (Mushfiqur 93, Nasir 67*, Shakib 59, S Masakadza 4-58)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The moment Ziaur Rahman hit Brendan Taylor's pad in front of the stumps and the umpire raised his finger, Bangladesh were closer to a rare Test win. At the end of the fourth day of the second and final Test, Zimbabwe were 138 for 4, chasing a 401-run target set up by Mushfiqur Rahim's 93.

The Zimbabwe captain's wicket was the one Mushfiqur would have wanted more than the seven runs by which he missed his third Test hundred. After umpire Ian Gould lifted his finger, it was easy to see and hear what it meant to the fielding side which was screaming for joy. Zimbabwe were 96 for 3, with their best batsman and captain out of the equation with a day remaining.

Malcolm Waller also fell to Ziaur for 15, missing a straightening delivery as his lack of footwork shackled him to the crease. Shingirai Masakadza was sent in as the nightwatchman at 118 for 4 with more than 15 overs remaining in the day, a strange decision but one which ultimately paid off. His elder brother Hamilton held his own at the other end, unbeaten on 46 off 94 balls.

Zimbabwe started the fourth innings positively but in the tenth over, Regis Chakabva played inside the line of a Shakib Al Hasan delivery which spun past to strike off. Vusi Sibanda fell soon after for a 50-ball 32, driving one straight to Sohag Gazi at short cover off Shakib.

Mushfiqur would thank his lucky stars that finally bowlers other than Robiul Islam stood up. Ziaur bowled a 10-over spell, mainly focused on being accurate. He hardly has pace like he did a few years ago, but managed to bring in his shoulders to generate speed. Shakib and Gazi bowled tightly too, both using a typical left-arm spinner and offspinner's line. There was hardly a loose ball.

Bangladesh declared about an hour after lunch on 291 for 9, going ahead of the home side by exactly 400 runs. Shakib, Mushfiqur and Nasir Hossain hit their second fifties of the game.

Nasir stretched the lead with the tail, making an unbeaten 67 and scoring most of the 40 runs that came after lunch. Apart from his effort, Bangladesh's dominance was also due to captain Mushfiqur's attentiveness to the situation.

He made 93 before being brilliantly caught at gully by Sibanda off Hamilton Masakadza, and his persistence was crucial to his side's staying power. Along with Nasir, he had to see off the first half-hour, which has often produced wickets in Harare. Though they hardly found boundaries because the home side had deep fielders on both sides, they played carefully. Zimbabwe bowled wide too, and the batsmen cut out the rash shots.

Mushfiqur and Nasir were happy picking up singles until the captain began to open up with a mistimed scoop and a slog-sweep - both off Elton Chigumbura. He had earlier hit a cover drive that sped to the boundary but the wicket had slowed down, and bounce was also on the low side. He and Nasir added 84 for the sixth wicket, back-to-back 80-plus partnerships for Mushfiqur, after his fifth-wicket stand with Shakib on the third evening.

Taylor missed the long hours put in by Keegan Meth, who is out with a right knee injury. He was seen sitting on the sidelines with his feet up and knee strapped. Hamilton Masakadza, bowling medium-pace, took three wickets but was never going to be as big a threat to the visitors. Kyle Jarvis did not bowl with the venom of the first Test, but Shingi Masakadza remained steady and picked up four wickets.

Had the Zimbabwe bowlers put up a better show even on the fourth morning, the Test match could have remained competitive. Bangladesh got most of what happened on the fourth day their way, though there again was the odd leg-before decision that they were denied. They would still take it, given they are closing in on a Test win for the first time in nearly four years.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Manesh on April 30, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    Very funny to see comparison between a 3rd class team like BD with other top teams! They are not better than ZIM.

  • Syed Sharful on April 29, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    Congratulations,Tigers.And thanks for dedicating the victory for the victims of Savar man made garment factory disaster.

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    yey... congrats boys. BD won the match to make the series level 1-1 each & now can say my 6th sense is working for me too, after watching this delightful joy ;)

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    I am crossing my figures but my 5th sense says we might loss the match to "Hamilton Masakadza" & it is perhaps going to be another draw at the end cause our bowlers R finding it too difficult to make the Zims all out till end :(

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    Come'n! Umpiring has been too poor in this match! I used to like Ian Gould! Along with him the other umpire did bulshit!! Ashraful and Tamim was not out, apart from that on 4th Day two genuine LBWs were not given. TOday just before launch it was a clear appeal for caught behind!! Come on! Thats too much against one TEAM!!

  • Rashidul on April 29, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    Knowing that, Bangladesh don't have a world class bowling attack except Shakib, it is much possible to build an electrifying and sharp fielding side to make a balance. Team like BD need to properly identify their area of improvement..

  • hyfen on April 29, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    i think Mushfiq is doing injustice to Shajidul. Why is he using this lad so seldom? it really disheartened me. other than this i find no reason of winning this match by BD.

  • Kuda on April 29, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    i am dissapointed in the way Chigumbura played this morning...it seems as though he has not taken into account the nature of the game situation. patience was needed for him to get bat on ball and besides, the longer on stays in on the crease the more chance for a zim draw or win. he literally gifted his wicket.

    2nd session is going to be the make or break...if Hami and Mutumbami play the whole session, then it will be something else!!!! chances are slim tho!

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    Musfiq you should learn fast. When new batsman came and he is edging at slip cordon. Why you are afraid off!! put 3 slips and a galy there. at least two catches went in between you and first slip. Use your head and learn fast. This is Zim and if you play top class oppositions then a single chance will suffer the whole team.

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    BD should attack more. They should attack more because there is only one result for BD to win this match. Why they are defensive mindset with defensive field. Come on boys. Jurgenson should tell his boys to attack both batsman and change bowlers according to requirements.

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