In his farewell Test, Mahmudullah was named Player of the Match as Zimbabwe lost by 220 runs
Bangladesh 468 (Mahmudullah 150, Das 95, Muzarabani 4-94) and 284 for 1 (Shanto 117*, Shadman 115*) beat Zimbabwe 276 (Kaitano 87, Taylor 81, Miraz 5-82) and 256 (Taylor 92, Tiripano 52, Miraz 4-66, Taskin 4-82) by 220 runs
Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe by 220 runs in the one-off Test in Harare, the visitors’ patience paying off after the hosts’ nightwatchman Donald Tiripano led a rearguard action with his 144-ball 52. Zimbabwe’s last three wickets took up 34.4 overs, but they had lost four wickets in 19 balls in the day’s first session.
The win – Bangladesh’s fifth overseas victory overall – capped off a fine farewell for Player of the Match Mahmudullah, who announced his retirement from Tests on the third day of the game. At the start of play on Sunday, Bangladesh gave Mahmudullah a guard of honour, and captain Mominul Haque let him lead the team out onto the ground. After being a last-minute inclusion in the XI, Mahmudullah rescued Bangladesh with a first-innings 150 at No 8. He added 191 runs for the ninth wicket with Taskin Ahmed, who made a career-best 75.
The eventuality of the Test was decided when Mehidy Hasan Miraz removed Richard Ngarava to finish with match figures of 9 for 148, the best returns in an overseas Test by a Bangladeshi bowler. Taskin also took his career-best innings figures of 4 for 82 in Bangladesh’s second dig.
The win – Bangladesh’s first one on foreign soil since 2017, having lost ten out of eleven of those matches – didn’t come easy for them on the final day. Dion Myers and Tiripano put up a resistance that lasted 17 overs, but the visitors bounced back with a four-wicket burst that signaled a swifter finish to the Test match.
Tiripano found willing allies in Victor Nyauchi and Blessing Muzarabani, who had a hilarious duel with Taskin, giving back the little jig that the Bangladeshi had done on him on the second day. Nuyachi was caught at slip, fending a Taskin bouncer while Ebadat Hossain removed Tiripano for his only wicket in the match.
Bangladesh could have finished matters much earlier had they held on to three chances. Myers was dropped by wicketkeeper Liton Das and first-slip Shakib off Miraz’s bowling, while Taskin grassed Tiripano off his own bowling. Shakib dropped a second chance when Muzarabani edged to him off Miraz.
Miraz, however, eventually removed Myers and Timycen Maruma in the same over before Taskin took the wickets of Roy Kaia and Regis Chakabva as Zimbabwe’s middle-order collapsed.
Bangladesh had staged a spirited fightback in the first innings, before Shakib and Miraz ensured a big lead with their combined nine-wicket haul. The visitors batted better in the second innings, with Shadman Islam and Najmul Hossain Shanto struck hundreds.
Brendan Taylor made 81 and 92 in a line-up that had none of their experienced batters. Takudzwanashe Kaitano, one of three debutants, made 87 in the first innings. The visitors would have a few things to work on, most notably their bowling against the Zimbabwean lower order that performed admirably.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84