The test between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe started earlier today at the Sylhet International Stadium, Sylhet. Zimbabwean captain Hamilton Masakadza won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first. Bangladesh named an interesting team which had only one premium fast bowler and four regular spinners.
Hamilton Masakadza and Brian Chari started the innings with a cautious approach. They had a clear idea that the pitch was on the slower side and had a lot of help for the spinners. Both the batsmen were defiant till the 11th over. A beautiful delivery from Taijul Islam broke the 35 run partnership for the first wicket. He cleaned up Chari who was dismissed for 13 runs. A lot was expected from Brendan Taylor, who came in at number 3 for the visitors. But the veteran batsman lost his wicket for a below par score of 6 runs. It was the left-arm spinner Taijul Islam who got the wicket for the hosts.
Masakadza, on the other hand, was keeping the innings ticking for Zimbabwe. The 35-year-old right-handed batsman reached to his 8th test fifty in the due process. But his celebrations were cut short by Abu Jayed, whose delivery hit Masakadza’s pads straight in front of the wickets. His departure meant that Zimbabwe were languishing at 85-3 before lunch. Sean Williams and Sikander Raza battled against the Bangladeshi spinners post lunch.
However, the visitors suffered another setback when Nazmul Islam got the better of Raza and broke the 44 run stand between Williams and Raza. Peter Moore came into the crease when the visitors needed someone to stay and give Williams the support from one end.
Moor was successful in soaking up the pressure from the spinners and acted as a great support for Williams. Williams’ tour got better when he completed a well-deserved half-century. The southpaw showed a lot of grit and character to stay on the crease despite the tumultuous conditions. Moor rotated the strike perfectly and found boundaries in between the overs. Williams’ fighting innings finally came to an end when Bangladeshi captain Mahmudullah was successful in sending him back to the pavilion. The Bulawayo born batsman felt 12 runs short of what could have been a magnificent century.
When Williams’ wicket fell on 201 in the 77th over, Bangladesh sensed an opportunity to clean up the Zimbabwean innings on the first day. But Moore and wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva displayed great determination to not lose their wickets. The day’s play came to an end after Zimbabwe had scored 236 runs for the loss of 5 wickets. Moor and Chakbva are batting on 37 and 20 respectively.
Zimbabwean camp would be hoping that the tail-enders can help them to go past the 300-mark and give the bowlers something to bowl at. With the pitch expected to support the spinners even more with days to come, a good first innings total becomes overly important. Bangladesh would look at their spinners and expect them to make light work of the tail on Day 2.
Day 1 Review:
Zimbabwe: 236-5(91 o.)
Sean Williams: 88
Hamilton Masakadza: 52
Taijul Islam: 27-3-86-2