Associated Press

Chittagong, January 7:

Mohammad Rafique hammered a belligerent 69 and snared two key wickets on the second day of the first Test on Friday as Zimbabwe faltered in response to Bangl-adesh’s highest-ever Test total. Zimbabwe slumped to 84 for four wickets at stumps after dismissing Bangladesh just after tea for a hefty first innings total of 488. Rookie fast bowler Christopher Mpofu grabbed four wickets for Zimbabwe, conceding 109 runs. Zimbabwe still needs 205 runs to avoid a follow-on.

Bangladesh legspinner Rafique removed Vusimuzi Sibanda (12) and Graeme Cremer for a duck after a fighting knock of 69 off 98 balls, including six boundaries and four sixes. Paceman Tapash Baishya claimed opener Stuart Matsikenyeri for 28 — caught at slip by captain Habibul Bashar. Matsikenyeri hit five boundaries. Rookie opener Barney Rogers took 28 deliveries to score his first runs — with a boundary off Mashrafee Bin Murtaza. He was run out on five at the non-striker’s end after bowler Enamul Haque diverted a return ball to the stumps. His replacement, Cremer, fell lbw to Rafique for a duck as Zimbabwe slumped to 59-4.

Earlier, Rajin Saleh missed his century after Bangladesh resumed play with an overnight score of 280-4. Mpofu clean bowled Baishya (6) just after tea break and Cremer removed Murtaza on 48. Rafique was dismissed by Mpofu, caught behind, after hitting 69 off 98 balls, including six boundaries and four sixes. Khaled Mashud (49) fell one short of his 50 to Cremer — his first Test wicket. Murtaza made a valuable contribution as Bangladesh surpassed its previous highest Test total of 416, made against the West Indies last year. Zimbabwe’s bowlers struck early on Friday to slow Bangladesh’s progress before lunch. Saleh hammered 89 runs off 182 balls, with 10 boundaries and one six, before he was caught and bowled by spinner Matsikenyeri. Mpofu trapped Aftab Ahmed lbw for six.