Shakib and Mushfiqur steady Bangladesh
Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim helped Bangladesh respond strongly to a shaky start on day one of the second Test with Zimbabwe at Harare.
All-rounder Shakib refound his form with a confident 81, after two single-figure scores in the first Test, and was aided by support from captain Mushfiqur, who made 60 as a 123-run fifth-wicket partnership helped the visitors wrestle back the initiative to close on 300 for six.
Zimbabwe were in command with the score 125 for four midway through the afternoon session and went on to dismiss both of Bangladesh’s half-centurions before the close, leaving the match intriguingly poised going into the second day.
Shakib was guilty of giving his wicket away, attempting a leg-side heave off Elton Chigumbura and edging behind to Richmond Mutumbami, while Mushfiqur was trapped lbw by Kyle Jarvis to undermine what had been an impressive recovery after early setbacks.
Bangladesh openers Tamim Iqbal and Jahurul Islam had seen off the new ball before Keegan Meth earned reward for an economical opening spell, tempting Jahurul into an ambitious drive which resulted in a steepling catch, well taken by Malcolm Waller at cover.
Mohammad Ashraful then fell cheaply to Shingi Masakadza, getting himself in a tangle with a pull shot which looped to Graeme Cremer at gully, before Tamim and Mominul Haque set about steadying the ship.
The top order continued to shoot themselves in the foot, however, and Iqbal was the architect of his own downfall, falling short of his ground to Masakadza’s direct hit after taking a risky single in an attempt to bring up his fifty.
Mominul gifted Masakadza a simple catch at extra-cover soon after but, from then on, the day was dominated by an invaluable stand from two of Bangladesh’s most experienced players.
The tide turned once more after the pair fell but an entertaining unbeaten 37 from Nasir Hossain ensured Bangladesh could be reasonably happy with their day’s work.