Brandon Mavuta

Zimbabwe stun Bangladesh to go 1-0 up

Ban v Zim, 1st Test, match report

Hit For Six!

The Zimbabwe bowlers secured a thrilling 151-run victory in the first Test against Bangladesh in Sylhet on Tuesday, 6 November to take a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series.

Brandon Mavuta and Sikandar Raza shared seven wickets between them to roll Bangladesh over for 169 on a sporting day four pitch.

Imrul Kayes was Bangladesh's top-scorer with 43 – adding 31 to his overnight score – while debutant Ariful Haque played some entertaining shots in the end to score 38. That, however, couldn't prevent the visitors, who last won a Test in September 2013, from securing a fine 151-run victory. It was Zimbabwe's third away win in Test history.

Liton Das and Imrul Kayes had done well to take Bangladesh to stumps at 26/0. But Zimbabwe started making quick inroads on the fourth morning.

Das was the first to fall for 23 – an addition of just nine to his overnight score, struck in front when he failed to get bat on an attempted pull shot off a half-tracker by Sikandar Raza. Zimbabwe used the review to good effect, and a crucial blow was struck.

Pacer Kyle Jarvis got the ball to nip off the surface and intermittently also got some movement off the air, making him tricky to face. Mominul Haque tried to hit out and ended up chopping on to fall for nine.

Raza then worsened Bangladesh's woes, accounting for Imrul Kayes and skipper Mahudullah in quick succession. Kayes, who had been batting well, was bowled round his legs when he tried to play a cheeky paddle, falling for 43.

Imrul Kayes was dismissed for 43 – the top-score for Bangladesh in their second innings
Imrul Kayes was dismissed for 43 – the top-score for Bangladesh in their second innings

Mahmudullah looked uncertain throughout his knock of 16 and his indecisiveness cost him his wicket. He was caught in two minds about whether play an aggressive shot or to defend, ending up gloving a catch to short leg.

The soup thickened for Bangladesh when Nazmul Shanto played a rash shot off a half-tracker by leg-spinner Brandan Mavuta to fall for 13 at the stroke of lunch. He tried to check a square cut at the last moment, and found himself spooning an easy catch to backward point.

Mushfiqur Rahim looked quite comfortable during his stay at the crease, and was even dismissed playing a confident sweep shot off Mavuta. His mistake was that he tried to go the aerial route, offering a catch to deep square leg.

Once Rahim fell, it was a procession of wickets, although debutant Ariful Haque played an entertaining hand at one end.

Mavuta accounted for Mehidy Hasan and Nazmul Islam in quick succession, while Wellington Masakadza joined the party with the wicket of Taijul Islam as Bangladesh slipped from 150/6 to 155/9.

Once all hope was gone, Haque went for some big hits. His 37-ball stay was laced with four fours and two sixes, before he was dismissed by Wellington Masakadza when he miscued another attempted big shot. That wicket sealed the deal for Zimbabwe.

This victory will be memorable because it is Zimbabwe's first overseas win since 2001. Bangladesh will look to make things even in the second Test at Dhaka, starting 11 November.

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