Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam proved his worth with a record-breaking eight-wicket haul and match-winning 15 runs with willow in crisis to set up a thrilling 3-wicket triumph for Bangladesh against visitors Zimbabwe on the third day of Bashundhara Cement three-match Test series opener at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka on Monday.
Taijul was adjudged the player of the first Test match for his outstanding all-round performance for Bangladesh’s first Test win where Bashundhara Group Vice-chairman Shafiat Sobhan Sanbir handed over the prize money to the man of the match during the prize-giving ceremony.
Taijul set the new national record for Bangladesh who claimed eight wickets for any Bangladesh cricketer for the first time ever. Previously, Enamul Haque junior and Shakib Al Hasan claimed seven wickets each against Zimbabwe and New Zealand respectively. Chasing a modest 101 for win in the second innings, Tigers made a feeble start as their two openers were dismissed early and failed to score. One down batsman Mominul Haque walked in and walked back without distributing score.
All of Tigers’ first three wickets fell with no run on the scoreboard and a quartet of batsmen dismissed in the space of first 25 deliveries in the second innings.
Later, Mahmudullah who smashed 64 in the first innings had barely had time to adapt with conditions with Shakib in fourth wicket stand. The duo took Bangladesh to the next 46 runs without further loss. But Zimbabwe paceman Chatara had the ball in his hand and dismissed the 4th wicket partnership by picking up crucial wicket of set batsman Shakib.
Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim came to the crease and made an effort to make up the batting disaster steadily with Mahmudullah. But medium pacer Elton Chigumbura who picked up Tamim and Mominul in his very first spell, made a super come back in the second spell and dismissed in-form Mahmudullah for 28.
Bangladesh struggled during the run chase stumbling to 62-6 at a point when new batsman Shuvagata Hom threw his wicket behind stumps off Chigumbura. However, tail-ender Shahadat Hossain showed his class for a while when he cracked a boundary and over boundary.
Bangladesh needed another 19 runs at that moment. But seamer Panyangara who grabbed five wickets in the first innings claimed his second wicket when he fooled Shahadat for 11 as Bangladesh lost their 7th wicket.
But breathtaking 8th-wicket partnership between skipper Mushfiq, the coolest man with his pair Taijul, brave and nerveless in a crisis, saw Bangladesh home.They added match-winning 19 to snatch back a game that the home side had dominated for most of the day, but that seemed to be rocking back towards Zimbabwe when Bangladesh lost their top seven batsmen for 82 score during chasing only 101 in the second innings but a heroic 8th-wicket stand turned the tables on Brendan Taylor’s men that helped Tigers to lead the three-match Test series by 1-0.
By winning the first Test match, Bangladesh sealed their fifth Test match win in their long 14-year Test cricket career.
The two lowest-ranked teams in Test cricket—Zimbabwe at 9 and Bangladesh at 10—will resume battle when the second Test opens in Khulna from November 3.