Day 1: Liton, Mahmudullah resistance help Bangladesh post 294 runs for the loss of eight wickets
Harare, July 7: Winning the toss and electing to bat first, Bangladesh managed to score 294 runs for the loss of eight wickets at the end of the first day of the only Test match against hosts Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club on Wednesday.
Even though the scoreboard showed a respectable figure for the visiting side, it was far from it in the first few hours as four of the top six batsmen, including senior players Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, failed to put runs on the board.
It all started with the departure of opener Saif Hassan, who fell in the very first over after facing just five balls from Blessing Muzarabani, Hassan, who is yet to make a mark in the international scene, scored a duck.
Even though Shadman Islam, Hassan's opening partner, score 23 off 64 balls, hitting four boundaries during his stay at the crease, Najmul Hossain Shanto departed after scoring just two runs. Muzarabani, who has had a good outing in the international circuit so far, picked up the Bangladeshi batsman in his third over, as the visitors lost the first two wickets after scoring just eight runs.
A 60-run partnership between Islam and skipper Mominul Haque ensued for the third wicket before the former returned back to the pavillion.
The Bangladeshi captain's 92-ball knock was encrusted with 13 boundaries as he scored 70 runs, adding vital runs for his team, even as wickets fell at the other end.
Rahim and Shakib, who came in next, scored 11 and three runs respectively before getting out.
While Muzabarani had Rahim trapped in front of the wicket, medium pacer Victor Nyauchi had Shakib caught by wicket-keeper Regis Chakabva as Bangladesh slipped to 109-5 (109 runs for the loss of five wickets).
A brief resistance came from the pair of Mominul and wicket-keeper Liton Das, but the Bangladeshi skipper was sent back by Nyauchi, breaking a 23-run partnership.
With the hosts firmly at top, having scalped six Bangladeshi wickets within two sessions of play, Liton and former skipper Mahmudullah dropped anchor.
Mahmudullah, who has been recalled to the Bangladesh Test squad after an absence of over a year, stitched together a partnership of 138 runs with Das.
The Bangladeshi wicket-keeper batsman struck 13 fours in his 147-ball essay, but fell agonisingly close to a Test match century as he departed for a well made 95 runs.
With all-rounder Mehidy Hasan departing for a duck off the very first delivery, the visiting team suffered another setback, but eventually escaped any more losses before the umpires decided to close play citing bad light.
When play resumes tomorrow, Mahmudullah, who has faced 141 deliveries so far, will resume on his overnight score of 54 runs and will hope to add more runs alongside Taskin Ahmed, who is unbeaten on 13.
For Zimbabwe, Muzabarani was the pick of the bowlers with three scalps. Donald Tiripano and Victor Nyauchi both have two wickets each, while Richard Ngarava accounted for the remaining wicket.