Bangladesh hold on for tight triumph

Spinner Taijul Islam played a pivotal role, as Bangladesh trumped Zimbabwe by three wickets on the third day of the first Test match at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on Monday.

The 22-year-old left-arm spinner became the first Bangladesh bowler to claim eight wickets in an innings, his figures of eight for 39 helping to skittle Zimbabwe for 114 in the second innings.

Set a modest target of 101, Bangladesh slipped to zero for three before Taijul, coming in at 82 for seven, guided his team home with an unbeaten 15 amid mounting tension on the third day in Mirpur.

Taijul, who put on an unbroken stand of 19 with skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (23 not out), was named the Man of the Match in only his third Test appearance. It was Bangladesh’s fifth Test win in 86 matches and only the second at home after the 226-run win against the same opponents in Chittagong in 2005.

The two lowest-ranked teams in Test cricket – Zimbabwe at number nine and Bangladesh at 10 – will resume battle when the second Test opens in Khulna on 3 November .

Taijul eclipsed team-mate Shakib Al Hasan’s Bangladeshi record of seven for 36 against New Zealand at Chittagong in 2008 as he spun out the Zimbabwe batsmen after the tourists resumed at five without loss.

Skipper Brendan Taylor was the only Zimbabwean to resist Taijul and the other bowlers, making an unbeaten 45, as six batsmen failed to reach double figures. Shahadat Hossain and Shakib shared the other two wickets.

Elton Chigumbura claimed four for 21 as Bangladesh almost messed up what should have been a simple chase even on the deteriorating pitch. Having lost the top three batsmen without a run on the board, the hosts buckled under pressure before Rahim and Taijul bailed them out.

Zimbabwe’s tour of the South Asian nation features three Tests and five ODIs.