Chittagong, January 8:
Captain Tatenda Taibu missed his maiden Test century but struck a fighting 92 to help Zimbabwe avoid the follow-on on the third day of the first Test against Bangladesh. At stumps, Zimbabwe was at 308 for eight wickets after resuming the day on 84-4 in pursuit of Bangladeshâ€™s hefty first innings total of 488.
Mluleki Nkala was batting on 20 with Douglas Hondo, who was yet to score as Zimbabwe trailed by 180 runs. Taibu fell lbw to leg spinner Mohammad Rafique in the dayâ€™s penultimate over - his second victim of the day and fourth in the innings. However, the Zimbabwe skipper featured in three back-to-back valuable partnerships for the sixth, seventh and eighth wickets - the highest 119 with Elton Chigumbura who scored a fine 71.
Taibu struck 10 boundaries and one six in his 164-ball knock.
Taibu earlier shared a valuable 66-run, sixth wicket partnership with Brendan Taylor and 37-run eighth wicket stand with Nkala. Chigumbura made valuable contributions and struck 10 boundaries and one six in his 164-ball knock.
In the morning session Zimbabwe added 70 runs for loss of two wickets to its overnight score of 84-4. It lost another two wickets in the last session.
Fast bowler Mashrafee Bin Murtaza grabbed both early wickets to put Zimbabwe under pressure. In the dayâ€™s third over, Murtaza clean bowled overnight batsman Hamilton Masakadza (29). Masakadza departed adding only one run to his overnight score of 28 and leaving his side at 86-5.
Murtaza struck again just before lunch to trap Brendan Taylor lbw for 39.
This is Zimbabweâ€™s first Test since losing the International Cricket Council Test status after a boycott by most of its top players prompted a massive loss to Sri Lanka in May. Subsequent tours by Australia and England featured limited-overs matches only. Zimbabwe has not won an international match since beating Bangladesh in a limited-overs series earlier last year. Bangladesh is yet to register a win in the 34 tests it has played since gaining full membership of ICC in 2000 â€” losing 31 and drawing three, including two losses against Zimbabwe.