Bangladesh eye historic win in Chittagong

Agence France Presse

Chittagong, January 9:

Tapash Baisya and Enamul Haque shared three wickets to strengthen Bangladesh’s chances of posting their maiden Test victory on the penultimate day of the first Test against Zimbabwe on Sunday. Chasing a stiff 381-run target, Zimbabwe were wobbling at 46-3 at stumps. They now have to face a minimum of 90 overs under pressure on the final day on Monday to save the match. Bangladesh, seeking their first win since gaining Test status in 2000, tightened the screws on a depleted Zimbabwean side when fast bowler Baisya removed opener Barney Rogers and Vusimuzi Sibanda for nought in his opening two overs. Left-handed Rogers was caught low at second slip by substitute Manjural Rana, while Sibanda was trapped leg-before. Opener Stuart Matsikenyeri, who made 20 in a 40-run stand for the third wicket with Hamilton Masakadza, was bowled attempting a big shot against the turn off left-arm spinner Haque. Masakadza (26 not out) and Brendan Taylor denied Bangladesh further success, but Zimbabwe still faced a tall order.

Bangladesh earlier declared their second innings closed at 204-9 for an overall lead of 380 runs, with skipper Habibul Bashar following his first-innings 94 with a solid 55 in the second.

The hosts went for quick runs before the declaration in a bid to set a stiff target for the visitors, losing wickets at regular intervals in the process.

Opener Rajin Saleh (26), Khaled Mashud (23) and Mohammad Ashraful (22) all failed to make the most of good starts, throwing away their wickets in pursuit of runs. Fast bowler Elton Chigumbura, 18, finished with 5-54 for his maiden five-wicket haul in three matches and Douglas Hondo took 3-61. Zimbabwe were all out for 312 in the first innings in reply to Bangladesh’s 488, with left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique taking 5-65 for his fifth haul of five or more wickets in a Test innings in 17 matches. The tourists lost their last two wickets after adding just four runs to their overnight total of 308-8.

Rafique completed a five-wicket haul when he had Mluleki Nkala caught by wicket-keeper Mashud for 23. Fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza had Hondo caught behind for one to finish with 3-59.