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Bangladesh pulls off thriller

Mushfiqur holds nerve to steer hosts to first Test win of the year against spirited Zimbabwe

Bangladesh pulls off thriller - Cricket News
Bangladesh notched up a nail-biting three-wicket win over Zimbabwe.
Bangladesh held its nerve to notch up a nail-biting three-wicket win over Zimbabwe on the third day of the first Test at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Mirpur on Monday (October 27).

After Taijul Islam, the young left-arm spinner, had finished with Bangladesh’s best ever bowling figures of 8 for 39 from 16.5 overs, Zimbabwe was left with the unenviable task of defending 101 runs after being bowled out for 114 in its second innings.

Given that Zimbabwe had lost ten wickets in a little over one session, it was apparent that Bangladesh would need to scrap it out on a wearing wicket. At 62 for 6, Bangladesh’s batting had collapsed to an inspired bowling performance by Elton Chigumbura. Its hopes rested on Mushfiqur Rahim and much to the relief of the home fans, the skipper delivered with a crucial, unbeaten 23. He added 20 runs with Shahadat Hossain to bring his side within 19 runs of a victory, but there was more drama to come.

Shahadat fell attempting to accelerate, but Mushfiqur and Taijul (15) hung in to tick off the runs required. It was perhaps appropriate that Taijul, the man of the match, knocked off the winning runs with a boundary to backward square leg.

Bangladesh got off to the worst start possible within the first five overs of its chase as it lost Tamim Iqbal, Shamsur Rahman and Mominul Haque to the pace combination of Chigumbura and Tinashe Panyangara with no runs on board.

Shakib Al Hasan, who returned to the side after serving a three-month ban because of ‘indiscipline’, joined hands with Mahmudullah and fought through the tricky phase to carry Bangladesh to 42 for 3. But Shakib’s dismissal by Tendai Chatara left Bangladesh looking vulnerable once again. Chigumbura then accounted for Mahmudullah (28) and Shuvagata Hom in the 21st over.

Zimbabwe’s bowlers smelt blood and threatened Bangladesh, but Mushfiqur and Taijul ensured victory.

Earlier, Zimbabwe started the day at 5 for no loss in its second innings, trailing by 14 on the first count, and was in all sorts of trouble as Bangladesh opened the bowling with Shahadat, the seamer, and Taijul.

Shahadat was taken off the attack after an eight-over spell during which he dismissed Hamilton Masakadza, and Shakib was brought on to make matters worse for Zimbabwe.
 
Shakib, whose six-wicket haul was instrumental in bowling Zimbabwe out for 240 in its first innings, was once again on the mark but it was Taijul who made the most of the conditions on offer.
 
Playing only his second Test after making his debut against the West Indies last month, Taijul bowled unchanged from one end as he sent down 14 overs with six maidens and gave away 33 runs for his second five-for in Test cricket by lunch. 
 
Sikandar Raza, who scored a half-century in the first innings, came down the order and looked primed for a repeat act but his 25-run stay at the crease came to an end in the same over in which he smashed Taijul for consecutive sixes.
 
Brendan Taylor managed to string a 34-run partnership with Craig Ervine (10) for the sixth wicket. But soon after Ervine’s departure, Zimbabwe lost John Nyumbu too, leaving Taylor with the tailenders to attempt and add some runs to the total.  
 
Three overs after lunch, Taijul was once again in the thick of things as he got rid of Panyangara. In his next over, he scalped Tendai Chatara and Tafadzwa Kamungozi off successive deliveries to bring an end to Zimbabwe’s innings.
 
Taylor fought a lone hand for Zimbabwe, making an unbeaten 45 from 60 deliveries with the help of eight boundaries. 
 
The teams now move to Khulna for the second Test starting on November 3.

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