Apr 252013

Half-centuries from Bangladesh batsmen Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim and relatively regular breakthroughs from Zimbabwe’s seam attack made for an even start to the second and final Test at the Harare Sports Club on Thursday.

Having been bowled out for 134 in last week’s 335-run defeat and then been put in again, improved application was required – and the Tigers obliged to the tune of 300 for six.

And despite some sloppy dismissals, it was on show as Tamim Iqbal fell one short of a half-century and both Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim passed the landmark, Shakib top-scoring with 82.

Openers Tamim and Jahurul Islam put on 44 before the latter, who had made a watchful 24 in seeing off the new ball, tried to break the shackles but lifted Keegan Meth to cover where Max Waller judged the catch well.

Mohammad Ashraful made just four before miscuing a hook at Shingi Masakadza, the ball skewing off the toe end straight to Graeme Cremer in the gully.

Tamim pushed on in company with Mominul Haque, the pair adding 31 before lunch, but the opener was too desperate to reach his half-century and was run out by Masakadza after taking a tight single to mid-off.

And having taken a wicket and a run-out, Masakadza added a catch when Mominul, on 23, tried to punch Elton Chigumbura through the covers.

That made it 125 for four not long after lunch, but Shakib and captain Mushfiqur batted through the remainder of the session and on into the evening.

Shakib reached an 84-ball half-century seven overs after tea with a single off Kyle Jarvis, having edged his fifth boundary earlier in the over.

He continued to look flighty as he almost got himself in trouble when charging Cremer, before Mushfiqur showed him the way with a huge inside-out six after advancing down the track.

The wicketkeeper followed his team-mate to 50 with a paddle sweep off Cremer for two, having faced 126 balls and hit five fours and that lone six.

Mushfiqur was spared by the third umpire after a very close stumping appeal was referred upstairs but Shakib, the ball after cutting Chigumbura for his eighth four, gave his wicket away with a top-edged swipe to keeper Richmond Mutumbami.

He had made 81 from 118 balls and put on 123 with Mushfiqur.

Both Mushfiqur and new man Nasir Hossain were dropped before the latter hit Cremer for two boundaries in an over.

But the captain then fell for 60, trapped lbw by the first ball of a new spell from Jarvis.

Nasir ended the day with a rapid 37 not out to his name, with Test debutant Ziaur Rahman on eight. Chigumbura had taken two for 59 and Masakadza one for 52, while Meth’s 16 tidy overs yielded one for 22.

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