Zimbabwean skipper Craig Ervine yesterday scored a dogged century as Zimbabwe shared the honors with Bangladesh on the opening day of a one-off Test in Dhaka.
Ervine hit 107 off 227 balls — his third century in Tests — as the visitors reached 228-6 at stumps after opting to bat first in what is the 100th international match between two teams.
Off-spinner Nayeem Hasan bowled Ervine, who struck 13 fours, shortly before the stumps, before finishing with 4-68, the best return for the home side on the opening day.
Nayeem helped Bangladesh restore balance in the contest with two wickets each in the final two sessions after Zimbabwe made a cautious start.
Pace bowler Abu Jayed struck early to remove opener Kevin Kasuza for two as Nayeem took a catch at gully after the first run from the bat in Zimbabwe’s innings came in the seventh over.
However, the other opener, Prince Masvaure — who made 64 off 152 balls with nine fours — shared a 111-run with Ervine for the second wicket to put Zimbabwe in control.
Nayeem removed Masvaure with a sharp return catch shortly after the batsman was dropped by Najmul Hossain at slip on 59 runs.
Brendan Taylor, who scored a century in both innings in his previous Test in Mirpur in 2018, soon followed Masvaure as Nayeem bowled him for 10.
The experienced right-hander attempted a reverse sweep, but could only connect the ball with his gloves before it smashed onto his stumps.
Ervine and Sikandar Raza added 40 runs for the fourth wicket, before Nayeem removed Raza in the final session of the day.
Jayed trapped Timcyen Maruma leg before for seven for his second wicket after the batsman was reprieved by a TV umpire on one off Taijul Islam.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Regis Chakabva was batting on nine alongside Donald Tiripano, not out at zero, when stumps were drawn at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
Bangladesh have lost their past six Test matches — five of them by an innings or more — but they have also beaten Zimbabwe five times in their last six encounters.
INDIA VS NEW ZELAND
India yesterday had to put in some lengthy overtime to work their way back into the first cricket Test against New Zealand after their paltry innings of 165 on the second day.
When stumps were finally drawn early because of bad light and after a marathon final session, New Zealand was 216-5, with an overall lead of 51.
B.J. Watling was 14 not out and Colin de Grandhomme 4.
New Zealand had been in a much stronger position near the start of the session when Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor shared a 93-run partnership which steered them past India’s total with only two wickets down.
Ishant Sharma led India’s fightback as they captured the wickets of Williamson, Taylor and Henry Nicholls in the 32 overs bowled after tea to bring the match much closer to parity.
Williamson made 89 and Taylor 44 in his 100th Test, but the commanding position their partnership had given New Zealand was slightly frittered away before light intervened with 11 overs still to be bowled.
Ball had mainly dominated bat from the moment New Zealand won the toss and bowled, and the period in which Taylor and Williamson were together was the only time in the match when the batsmen seemed in control.
Williamson posted his 32nd half-century in Tests, but fell short of a century and Taylor seemed on course for his 34th half-century before he also came up short of that milestone.
Sharma was largely responsible for the turnaround, claiming the first three New Zealand wickets to fall; Tom Latham (11), Tom Blundell (30) and Taylor.
Taylor’s innings ended when he was surprised by a ball from Sharma that moved sharply off a length and which he fended from a glove to Cheteshwara Pujara at short leg.
The India bowlers clamped down on New Zealand’s run rate late in the day and that built pressure. Williamson had played some fine drives and cuts behind point, but he began to find runs harder to come by and he fell to a soft dismissal, chipping a ball from Mohammed Shami to substitute fielder Ravindra Jadeja at cover.
Nicholls battled through to 17 and then was out within two overs of stumps, caught by Virat Kohli from the bowling of Ravi Ashwin.
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