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Harare Test : Miraz, Shakib give Bangladesh full control in one-off Test

Bangladesh spinners caught Zimbabwe in spin web to give the side a full control in the one-off Test after the third day’s game at Harare Sports Club on Friday.

Offspinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz and left arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan shared nine wickets between them to leave the hosts in a cornered state after they began the day promisingly.

Miraz claimed 5-82, his eight five-for in Test cricket while Shakib ended with 4-82 as Zimbabwe were folded for 276, handing Bangladesh a handsome 192 runs lead.

At the close of the day, Bangladesh reached 45 for no loss, stretching their lead to 237 runs. Shadman Islam was in the crease with 22 with his fellow opener Saif Hassan on 20.

The Tigers were bowled out for 468 in their first innings after Mahmudullah Riyad led the way, with his career-best 150 not out.

With Bangladesh searching a wicket early in the morning session of day three, Brendan Taylor and Kaduzwanashe Kaitano frustrated the visitor with different approach of batting.

While Taylor batted fluently and dominated the bowlers, Kaitano remained cautious to go after the bowlers. Their strategy of caution and aggression served them well in the morning session as they resumed the day on 114-1.

Bangladesh bowlers also couldn’t sustain a pressure for a longer period, which was imperative in a wicket that offered little for the bowlers.

However Bangladesh were lucky to have the wicket of Taylor who after playing excellently, threw away his wicket with a wretched shot. Taylor struck 81 off 92, hitting 12 fours and one six.

Taylor’s dismissal off Mehidy Hasan Miraz (1-67) bowling brought an end to the 115-run partnership between him and Kaitano.
As there was a glimmer of hope to take the control, Kaitano’s solid approach, coupled with fellow debutant Myers aggressive batting further kept Bangladesh at bay.

With Zimbabwe looking to take the full control, Bangladesh clawed back into the game in the afternoon session, claiming three wickets for four runs.

Shakib Al Hasan however broke through with the wicket of Myers who perished to a sweep shot for 27. He then removed Timycen Marum for 0, also vie leg-before wicket.

Taskin Ahmed who proved to be the most dangerous bowler for Zimbabwe was largely luckless. But he got the reward of his tireless job when Roy Kaia edged one behind wicket-keeper to be out for naught.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz then gave Bangladesh a reason to cheer, getting rid of stubborn Kaitano, who offered a catch behind the wicket after trying flick it. Kaitaon played 311 balls for his 87, studded with nine fours.

His dismissal cracked the door open for Bangladesh as Miraz and Shakib in joint venture cleaned up the tail, forcing Zimbabwe to loss last five wickets for just 15 runs.

Bangladesh openers then saw out the day without any fuss, establishing a full control over the hosts.