Three pace bowlers swung the Test match Zimbabwe’s way after they triggered a mighty collapse in the Bangladesh batting line-up. Kyle Jarvis followed up his near-perfect opening spell with three quick wickets at the start of the second session and was well backed up by Shingirai Masakadza, who took four wickets while Keegan Meth took two.
The visitors lost their last four wickets without adding a single run to their total of 134 at the lunch break. Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor decided to bat again, not enforcing the follow-on. Zimbabwe are 255 runs ahead and will look to take full advantage of Bangladesh’s panicky mindset.
Jarvis came in from the Teletalk End in the second session to pick up three more wickets – Nasir Hossain edging a wide delivery, and Enamul Haque jnr and Rubel Hossain’s stumps doing cartwheels. Masakadza picked up the final wicket when Sohag Gazi picked up a short ball and calmly delivered to Malcolm Waller’s hands at midwicket.
Captain Mushfiqur Rahim’s dismissal was the last wicket at the lunch break when he was given out leg-before off Masakadza. It capped off a superb morning session for the home side as they took five wickets for 39 runs. The session began quietly for a Bangladesh batting line-up more inclined to play strokes and they succumbed to the excellent lengths bowled by the Zimbabwean pace bowlers.
Mohammad Ashraful and Jahurul Islam batted so cautiously in the first hour that Jarvis bowled himself back into discipline. His six overs just cost him one run, having delivered five maidens in a row. He made sure the two batsmen had nothing to put bat on, using the slightly wider line to effect. Whenever he targeted the stumps, the batsmen could only use the front-foot defense or go back to tap the ball down the ground. He cut out the singles, too, not letting the batsmen get into a rhythm, and it worked a treat.
Meth, from the other end, got the batsmen to play less in the first half-hour before using his inswinger to bring the ball back to the stumps more. His first good ball accounted for Jahurul’s wicket, the batsman playing down the wrong line as he was trapped leg-before. The delivery had a hint of going down the legside, but it was close enough for umpire Billy Bowden.
Jahurul added just five runs to his overnight score of 38, batting out 35 balls. His approach looked sensible to start off with, but he let the bowlers settle down easily as he got bogged down at the crease. He and Ashraful had raced to a 42-run stand the previous evening, but just added seven runs in 10.5 overs on the third morning.
Mahmudullah was sent in at No. 4, a position where Mominul Haque had scored two fifties in the last two Tests. The Bangladesh vice-captain was again dismissed for a low score, this time bowled off the inside edge for just three.
Shakib Al Hasan began with a new approach, trying to hustle Meth by charging at him but his first bat at international level since November ended when he couldn’t keep a Masakadza delivery down. The ball leapt off his bat, giving Vusi Sibanda an easy catch at gully.
Ashraful followed soon after, miscuing a half-hearted pull-shot off Masakadza as Malcolm Waller took an easy catch at square-leg. He was dismissed for 38, having scored just 15 runs off 55 balls in the session, a tame end to an innings that promised much.