After a long gap of 8 years, Bangladesh played a Test match in Zimbabwe and it turned out to be a fruitful one for them. Batting first, Bangladesh had put on 468 runs, all thanks to their lower order batsmen. Liton Das at number seven, fell five short of what would have been a well-constructed century. But, it was Mahmudullah and Taskin Ahmed partnership for the ninth wicket that propelled them to a big total of 468 runs. Mahmudullah registered a well-made 150 in the first innings
In reply, Zimbabwe had a good start as their openers had put on a 61-run partnership and followed it up by a 115-run stand between T Kaitano and Brendon Taylor for the second wicket. As soon as Taylor fell, there were short bursts of 30-40 runs partnerships. But, none of them were converted to big ones. Hence, they fell short by 192 runs.
Bangladesh in the third innings posted 284 in quick time for the loss of just one wicket. Shadman Islam and Najmul Hossain Shanto both hoisted their centuries. A mammoth total of 477 was impossible to chase for Zimbabwe. On the back of a 92 from the skipper Taylor and Donald Tiripano 52, they could only post 256 before they were all-out. Bangladesh won by a massive margin 220 runs and here are some noteworthy stats from the match:
Mahmudullah shines in his last match
An unexpected announcement came in from the Bangladeshi camp after the third day’s play. Mahmudullah, who had placed his side in a comfortable position, decided to retire from the longest format. But, before retiring, he had played a gem of an innings to bail Bangladesh out from a grave situation. He scored 150* off 278 balls batting at number eight. His score is the highest for any number eight batsman in away Tests. Overall, he was the fifth batsman to score 150+ batting at that position.
Second highest ninth wicket stand
With Das on the other end, Mahmudullah had a partnership of 138 for the seventh wicket. However, at the dismissal of Das, Mahmudullah was on 47. Taskin batting at number 10, gave the support that was needed for Bangladesh and Mahmudullah. The pair had put on 191 runs for the ninth wicket, which is the second best in Tests. Mark Boucher and Pat Symcox had posted 195 against Pakistan in Johannesburg in 1998.
A lower order retaliation
At a point when a team is six down for less than 150 in a Test on a foreign land, scoring nearly four times more is a certain rarity. Bangladesh innings belongs to one of those rarities. Their number seven to 11 batsmen had scored 320 runs out of the 468, which is 68.3 percent of the runs. In a Test innings in which, the number seven to 11 batsmen have scored 200+ runs, the contribution percentage made by Bangladesh in this innings is the third most.
A positive and negative start to Kaitano’s career
Making his debut at the age of 28 years, Takudzwanashe Kaitano had a great start to his career when he scored 87 in the first innings. This was the third highest score by a Zimbabwean batsman on debut in Tests. However, the right-handed opener was slow to score. In the first innings he scored 87 at a strike rate of 28. In the second innings, he had batted over 100 balls just to score seven runs. For a debutant who has faced 100+ balls in Tests, this is the slowest innings. All-in-all, a mixed bag debut.
A blazing innings
In four out of the last six innings, Taylor has scored at a strike rate of over 80, certainly a difference in approach from the Zimbabwe skipper. In this match, Taylor got to a half-century in both the innings. In the first he scored eight odd runs at a strike rate of 88. In the second, he scored 92 in just 73 balls. His strike rate of 126 in the second is the quickest for a Zimbabwean batsman who has faced 60+ balls in an innings.
Mehidy delivers once again for Bangladesh
Time and time, the young 23-year-old allrounder has been a proven match winner on many occasions. In the first innings, he nagged five wickets for 82 runs to derail Zimbabwe. In the second innings, he once again was in the action by bagging four wickets for 66 runs. Overall, Mehidy became the second Bangladeshi bowler to bag nine wickets in an away Test. Robiul Islam in 2013 against Zimbabwe had figures of nine for 155. But, Mehidy bettered it with nine for 148 runs.