First-ever Test victory for Bangladesh

Associated Press

Chittagong, January 10:

Bangladesh broke a four-year drought by recording its first test cricket win on Monday, with left-arm spinner Enamul Haque claiming a career-best 6-45 in a comprehensive 226-run defeat of Zimbabwe. It was Bangladesh’s 35th test match since gaining full membership of the International Cricket Council in 2000 and the win ended a sequence of 31 losses - including four to Zimbabwe - and three draws.

Captain Habibul Bashar led the Bangladeshi players around the field on a lap of honour, waving Bangladesh’s flag. Many of about 12,000 fans left the galleries and ran into the field to hug the proud players. “It is the brightest day that has ever come in my life,” said an exuberant Bashar. “I’ll cherish this day as long as I live and play.” Man-of-the-match Haque took the last wicket of Christopher Mpofu (5) to dismiss Zimbabwe for 154 runs in its second innings and trigger wild celebrations at Chittagong’s M.A. Aziz Stadium.

Outside the stadium, thousands of revelers poured into the streets beating drums and spraying flower petals as many joyously hugged each other.

“This is a long dream come true,” said college student Afzal Hossain as he led dozens of revelers through central Chittagong. “Let the world know that we can also win a test match.” Bangladesh’s coach Dav Whatmore congratulated his players, saying they’d done a “splendid job.” Haque, 18, said he had visions of victory before the start of play on Monday.

“I told my mother this morning that I want to be part of a history - I’ve kept that promise,” he said.

Zimbabwe made 312 in its first innings and was chasing 381 to win after Bangladesh accumulated 488 in the first innings and then declared at 204-9 in its second.

Fast bowlers Tapash Baishya and Mashrafee Bin Murtza grabbed two wickets apiece.

Resuming after lunch at 133-6, Zimbabwe lost four wickets for only 21 runs as Bangladesh raced to victory. Haque struck early on the last day, removing overnight batsman Brendan Taylor for 44 and Zimbabwean captain Tatenda Taibu for a duck. That reduced Zimbabwe to 115-5. Hamilton Masakadza (56), who shared a valuable 70-run fourth-wicket partnership with Taylor, was caught and bowled by Haque - his third victim of the day.