Bangladesh went into the game with two debutants in the shape of seamer-allrounder Ariful Haque and left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam Apu
In-form Zimbabwe batsman Sean Williams guided the tourist to a comfortable position as they finished on 236 runs for the loss of five wickets in 91 overs at stumps on day one against host Bangladesh in the first Test match at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium Saturday.
The toss, which interim Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah lost and saw Zimbabwe bat first, was done with a special coin to mark the occasion of Sylhet hosting its first ever Test.
Bangladesh went into the game with two debutants in the shape of seamer-allrounder Ariful Haque and left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam Apu. The decision to go into the game with one specialist pacer in the form of local boy Abu Jayed raised eyebrows of many, given Bangladesh team’s policy of “backing the pacers to produce the goods”.
The first session of the day belonged to Bangladesh as left-arm spinner Taijul Islam cleaned up opener Brian Chari in the 11th over. Chari went for an untimely slog to gift Bangladesh a hot start to the game. A looped up delivery slid in to beat Chari and crashed into the middle stump, making Taijul burst into celebration.
Stumps, Day-1,— Bangladesh Cricket (@BCBtigers) November 3, 2018
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Six overs later, Taijul struck again, this time dismissing the experienced Brendon Taylor for six to leave Zimbabwe reeling on 47/2.
At the stroke of lunch, Zimbabwe were 85/2 with captain Hamilton Masakadza unbeaten on 52 and Williams not out on 13.
Jayed was successful right in the first over after lunch as he removed Masakadza for 52.
But Williams, who has been in great form in this tour, continued his effort by keeping his team afloat in the second session of the day. He remained undefeated on 53 at tea and added 44 for the fourth wicket.
Sylhet International Cricket Stadium become the 8th Test Venue in Bangladesh today with the first Test between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. pic.twitter.com/LTuerW84I1— Bangladesh Cricket (@BCBtigers) November 3, 2018
Nazmul accounted for his maiden Test wicket when all-rounder Sikandar Raza was dismissed for 19. This dismissal saw the Zimbabwe innings lose momentum and at one stage, off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz registered six maidens in a row.
But Williams held firm with middle-order batsman Peter Moor at the other end of the crease. The duo propelled Zimbabwe to 149/4 at tea as the game progressed into the last part of the day.
In the 77th over, Mahmudullah came on to bowl his first over and just in the third ball, gave Bangladesh an important breakthrough by removing Williams for 88, and break Zimbabwe’s momentum. Williams walked off after a thick edge from the delivery that spun away sharply and found a diving Miraz at first slip, who took a brilliant catch.
The dismissal saw the fifth Zimbabwe stand break after 72 runs, following which the side added 35 more runs to the board before the match officials removed the bails after the 91st over, signaling the end of the day’s play.
1ST TEST, DAY 1
Zimbabwe 236/5 in 91 overs (Williams 88, Taijul 2/86)