Zimbabwe still just about have the upper hand after two days of the first Test in Harare. Their captain Brendan Taylor broke numerous records on the way to making 171 and propelled his side’s first innings total to an impressive 389.
Bangladesh then began brightly in their reply and scored at a much better rate than the home side for much of their innings, closing on 95 for one.
Jahurul Islam and Shahrair Nafees added 53 in less than 13 overs for the first-wicket, before Kyle Jarvis bounced back from an occasionally expensive opening spell by having Nafees caught off the leading edge by Timycen Maruma at cover for 29.
He had had Jahurul dropped at third slip by Graeme Cremer in the first over, a let-off that could yet prove very costly. Jahurul looked fluent and relatively untroubled following his reprieve and ended on 38, with Mohammad Ashraful ending on a pleasing 23.
Zimbabwe had begun the day on 217 for four following a slow-moving day one and things continued in a similar vein for a while. They lost Elton Chigumbura (12) and debutant Richmond Mutumbami (11) early to Rubel Hossain and Robiul Islam, with Cremer and Taylor then digging in to reach lunch on 285 for six.
Taylor did pass his previous highest score of 117 during the first session and, after lunch, decided to increase the rate of scoring. With Cremer providing dogged resistance at the other end, he began to attack and went to the highest score by a Zimbabwean against Bangladesh and then beat Andy Flower’s record of 156 as the highest score by a Zimbabwe captain.
The partnership was eventually ended at 106 when Cremer gave Sohag Gazi his first wicket of the innings when on 42. Taylor then departed to Enamul Haque junior in the next over but the home side weren’t done yet.
Keegan Meth and Shingi Masakadza showed as much application as their top-order colleagues had done and added a further 37 for the ninth-wicket.
Meth made 21, with Masakadza joining him on that score when last man out. Bangladesh’s bowlers began to look very weary towards the end of the innings, with seamers Robiul and Rubel enduring a particularly heavy workload of 38 and 30 overs due to Mushfiqur Rahim’s cautious utilisation of Shakib Al Hasan and strange under-bowling of Sohag Gazi.
Fortunately, their batsmen look like they might give them plenty of time to rest up before they must bowl again, with Jahurul, Shahriar and Ashraful all looking good, and with the likes of Rahim, Shakib, Mahmudullah and Nasir Hossain still to bat.