HARARE – Zimbabwe crushed to an aberrant three-wicket defeat inside three days of the first Test match against Bangladesh at Mirpur yesterday with Captain Brendan Taylor admitting the team was mentally weak with the bat.
“Credit to Bangladesh, we were mentally weak with the bat, we can’t win Tests like that,” said Taylor after the match.
“You have to have the mindset that you can win from any situation. We started well and had them three down but dropped two chances...
“Mushy held his end and marshalled his troops very well... they played better cricket and we’ll come back stronger in the second Test.”
Zimbabwe succumbed to the bowling of left-arm spinner Taijul Islam who picked eight wickets to restrict the visitors to 114 runs all out inside 35.5 overs and a paltry 100-run lead.
Taylor was the last man standing for Zimbabwe unbeaten on 45, Sikandar Raza scored 25 runs while opener Vusi Sibanda weighed in with 14 as the host bowlers took full control of the third innings.
With only 101 runs to win the match and two full days remaining in the match, Bangladesh however, did not get their long awaited victory on a silver platter as the Africans fought viciously with the ball albeit in a losing cause.
Seamer Elton Chigumbura opened the inroads in the third over when he had opener Tamim Iqbal caught at slip by Taylor for an eight-ball duck.
Tinashe Panyangara, first innings hero with five wickets, grabbed Zimbabwe’s second wicket on the final ball of the fourth over when he bowled Shamsur Rahman for a 12-ball duck.
The One Day International captain Chigumbura gave Zimbabwe a glimmer of hope with two quick wickets in the fifth over when he caught and bowled Mominul Haque for zero before Mahmudullah connected to his stumps in the 14th over to leave the host on 62-5 after 20.3 overs.
Panyangara remained Zimbabwe’s top bowler with seven wickets from 31 overs for 89 runs while Chigumbura finished the match with four wickets for 55 runs from 24.3 overs. The second game of the three-match Test series is scheduled for November 3.
The batting front was led by Raza with 76 runs in two innings (51 and 25) and Taylor with 73 runs (28 and 45).
Zimbabwe 240 & 114 (35.5 ov)
Bangladesh 254 & 101/7 (33.3 ov)
Bangladesh won by 3 wickets