Zimbabwe took a firm grip on the first Test against Bangladesh at Harare Sports Club — despite slipping to 27-4 in their second innings on a wicket-filled third day yesterday.
Thirteen wickets tumbled in the first two sessions — two more than had fallen on the previous two days combined — but by tea Zimbabwe had recovered to 62-4 and a healthy lead of 317.
Bangladesh began the day on 95-1, but suffered a horrific batting collapse to be bowled out for 134 shortly after lunch and give Zimbabwe a first-innings lead of 255.
Each of the Bangladeshi top three made 29 or more, but the next eight batsmen managed just 18 runs between them, with the last four all registering ducks. The last five wickets went down without a run being added.
Kyle Jarvis spearheaded the attack after a wayward Thursday in which he conceded 39 runs from eight overs, bowling six overs for just one run to heap pressure on the Bangladeshi batsmen at the start of the day.
This set the platform for fellow pace bowlers Keegan Meth and Shingirai Masakadza to rip out five wickets before lunch.
Meth grabbed his first two wickets in Test cricket, trapping Jahurul Islam LBW for 43 and bowling Mahmudullah off a bottom edge for 3.
Jarvis returned after the break to claim three wickets in seven balls to finish with figures of 16-8-40-4.
Meth took 2-41, while Masakadza claimed 4-32.
Despite Zimbabwe’s significant advantage, captain Brendan Taylor opted not to enforce the follow-on — a decision that looked to have backfired when Robiul Islam took four wickets for nine runs at the start of the Zimbabwean second innings.
However Taylor added an unbeaten 25 to the 171 he scored in the first innings to steady the home side, and found able support from Elton Chigumbura, who was 16 not out at tea.
Additional reporting by staff writer