Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor continued his strong batting performances against Bangladesh with an unbeaten century to take the home team to 217-4 at stumps on the opening day of the first test on Wednesday.
Taylor, who has two centuries and a half-century in his last three test innings against Bangladesh, ground out 105 not out from 211 balls to prop Zimbabwe up on the opening day of the two-match series at Harare Sports Club.
Taylor’s 127-run partnership with Malcolm Waller, who made 55, revived Zimbabwe after Robiul Islam’s two early wickets had the hosts on 22-2. Hamilton Masakadza was then dismissed for 25 by Enamul Haque Jr. before Taylor and Waller combined for their century stand.
Zimbabwe was put in to bat in only its seventh test since returning from a self-imposed exile in 2011, and gave debuts to three players in the battle of test cricket’s lowest-ranked teams. Opening batsman Timycen Maruma, who was out for 10, seamer Keegan Meth and wicketkeeper Richmond Mutumbami were introduced by selectors after defeat in a 2-0 series whitewash in West Indies last month.
Zimbabwe has won just one of its six matches since returning to the five-day format – against Bangladesh in its comeback match two years ago. Bangladesh held the upper hand early on Wednesday having itself not won a test since 2009.
Robiul Islam (2-56) bowled Vusi Sibanda for 5 in the eighth over and had Maruma lbw in the 15th. Haque Jr. had Masakadza caught by Mahmudullah to make it 65-3.
Taylor and Waller fought back, grinding out Zimbabwe’s recovery despite hitting few boundaries. Waller hit three fours before falling to Rubel Hossain, but Taylor continued, eventually collecting five fours and a six in his third test century.
Elton Chigumbura was bowled five overs from stumps but was saved on review, with Rubel Hossain over-stepping for the delivery to be called a no-ball, preventing Bangladesh ending the day with a crucial fifth wicket.