SYLHET: Brandon Mavuta and Sikandar Raza shared seven wickets between them as Zimbabwe recorded their first overseas Test win in 17 years and their first since 2013 with a thumping 151-run victory over Bangladesh on Tuesday.
Debutant leg-spinner Mavuta claimed 4-21 and off-spinner Sikandar’s 3-41 as hosts Bangladesh were left chasing 321 runs on the fourth day in the northeastern city of Sylhet.
Wellington Masakadza, another debutant, also chipped in with two wickets as Zimbabwe made quick work of Bangladesh’s lower order, dismissing the hosts for 169 at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.
Left-arm spinner Masakadza took the final wicket of the innings, sending Ariful Haque for 38 as Zimbabwe notched their first Test win since beating Pakistan in Harare in 2013.
It is also the first time Zimbabwe has clinched an away Test victory since beating Bangladesh in Chittagong 17 years ago in 2001.
Since their victory against Pakistan at the Harare Sports Club, Zimbabwe had lost 11 matches and drawn one.
“I am ecstatic. I thought the guys went out and worked really hard to apply themselves,” Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Zimbabwe sensed a win once Sikandar claimed three vital wickets in the opening session to reduce Bangladesh’s innings to half.
Kyle Jarvis and Mavuta joined the act with Sikandar in the morning as they chipped in with a wicket apiece to leave Bangladesh 111-5 at the break.
Bangladesh resumed at 26-0 but within half-an-hour had lost their first wicket, with others following quickly.
Play started 30 minutes early to make up for the lost time after bad light brought a premature end to day three, with Bangladesh still needing 295 runs on a wearing pitch.
The home side — whose best run chase was 217-6 against the West Indies in 2009 — started to throw wickets once Sikandar reviewed a leg-before appeal against opener Liton Das.
The umpire gave Liton not out but a TV replay indicated the ball would have hit the stump after pitching outside off — ending Liton’s innings on 23.
One down, Mominul Haque dragged a Jarvis delivery onto his stumps for nine before Sikandar bowled Imrul Kayes for 43 to leave Bangladesh at 83-3.
Skipper Mahmudullah promoted himself to number four but could not rescue his side and perished for 16, giving a catch to substitute fielder Craig Ervine at short leg off Sikandar.
Sikandar then took a spectacular catch at cover on the stroke of lunch to hand debutant Mavuta his maiden Test wicket and send back Nazmul Hossain.
“I think the wicket was good, but we didn’t apply ourselves with the bat. I don’t want to show any excuse because that will be lame. We batted really badly,” said Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah. “We got out even to bad deliveries. If we continue batting like this, I don’t think we have any place in Test cricket.
“It’s a matter of prestige. We must fight back strongly. Otherwise there is no point playing Test cricket like this.”
Mavuta dismissed Bangladesh’s last accomplished batsman Mushfiqur Rahim soon after play resume before Zimbabwe wrapped things up. The second and final Test starts on Sunday in Dhaka.
ZIMBABWE (1st Innings) 282 (S.C. Williams 88, H. Masakadza 52; Taijul Islam 6-108).
BANGLADESH (1st Innings) 143 (Ariful Haque 41 not out; T.L. Chatara 3-19; Sikandar Raza 3-25).
ZIMBABWE (2nd Innings) 181 (H. Masakadza 48; Taijul Islam 5-62, Mehedi Hasan 3-48).
BANGLADESH (2nd Innings, overnight 26-0):
Liton Das lbw b Sikandar 23
Imrul Kayes b Sikandar 43
Mominul Haque b Jarvis 9
Mahmudullah c sub b Sikandar 16
Nazmul Hossain c Sikandar b Mavuta 13
Mushfiqur Rahim c W. Masakadza b Mavuta 13
Ariful Haque c Chakabva b W. Masakadza 38
Mehedi Hasan c Chakabva b Mavuta 7
Taijul Islam c Taylor b W. Masakadza 0
Nazmul Islam lbw b Mavuta 0
Abu Jayed not out 0
EXTRAS (LB-5, LB-2) 7
TOTAL (all out, 63.1 overs) 169
FALL OF WKTS: 1-56, 2-67, 3-83, 4-102, 5-111, 6-132, 7-150, 8-151, 9-155.
BOWLING: Jarvis 14-5-29-1; Chatara 9-2-25-0; Sikandar Raza 17-1-41-3; Williams 8-2-13-0; Mavuta 10-2-21-4, W.P. Masakadza 5.1-0-33-2.
RESULT: Zimbabwe won by 151 runs to lead two-match series 1-0.
UMPIRES: R.A. Kettleborough (England) and R.J. Tucker (Australia).
TV UMPIRE: H.D.P.K. Dharmasena (Sri Lanka).
MATCH REFEREE: R.S. Madugalle (Sri Lanka).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Sean Williams.
SECOND TEST: Dhaka, Nov 11-16.
Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2018