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Taijul takes centre stage in Shakib’s absence

Ban v Zim, 2nd Test, reaction

Hit For Six!

After picking up 11 wickets in the first Test against Zimbabwe, Taijul Islam has followed up with five wickets in the first innings of the second Test.

It’s a pretty incredible haul – 16 wickets in three bowling innings, the latest returns of 5/107 bowling Zimbabwe out for 304 in response to Bangladesh’s 522/7 declared.

He has bowled a lot of overs too – 39.3 and 28.4 in the first Test, and 40.3 in the first innings now. Taijul might not have got that much bowling if the injured Shakib Al Hasan had been around, something he accepts.

“Due to the absence of Shakib bhai, I'm getting more chances to bowl. If he was in the team, there would not be the same type of additional responsibility on me. But I am really enjoying it,” said Taijul after the third day of the Dhaka Test.

Taijul, who started the Test with 80 wickets from 20 matches, picked up the first two wickets in the Zimbabwe first innings, of Hamilton Masakadza and Donald Tiripano, but then had to wait a long time before sending back Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza.

It's really a matter of joy for every cricketer when he delivers good performance

Then came a long stand between Brendan Taylor (110) and Peter Moor (83) before Taijul finished his five-for with Regis Chakabva’s wicket.

“It may have taken a long time … they had a good partnership but I didn't lose my hope. It's really a matter of joy for every cricketer when he delivers good performance. But the team comes first. Our team is now in a good position,” said Taijul.

In the process, he became only the third Bangladesh bowler to pick up five-for in three successive innings after Enamul Haque Jr and Shakib.

He is hoping to get one more before the series ends.

“Yesterday, we were getting sharp turn but today there was no sharp turn. The sharp turn you get when it lands on cracks wasn't there today. The wicket is such that if we can stick to our disciplines and bowl in good areas, then it is possible,” he pointed out.

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