ZIMBABWE’S national cricket team made a strong response to Bangladesh’s mammoth first innings total to leave the one-off Test match still delicately poised after the second day at Harare Sports Club Thursday.
Opener Milton Shumba led the Zimbabwe fight back with a solid 41 while stand-in captain Brendan Taylor and debutant Takudzwanashe Kaitano were unbeaten on 37 and 33 respectively as the hosts ended the second day at 114 for 1 after 41 overs.
The hosts, however, still have a lot of work on their hands as they trail by 354 runs after being frustrated by a record 191-run ninth-wicket stand between Mahmudullah Riyad and Taskin Ahmed which stirred the visitors post 468 in their first innings.
Riyad reached a career-best has struck a career-best unbeaten 150 in a ninth wicket stand with Ahmed, who also chipped in with a career-best score of 75 runs.
The pair’s stand fell just four runs short of Test cricket’s long standing record ninth wicket stand of 195 set by South Africans Mark Boucher and Pat Symcox against Pakistan in 1995.
The pair’s heroics ensured Bangladesh posted a challenging first innings total despite their top order batsmen’s struggles against Zimbabwe’s pace bowlers on the opening day.
After enduring a frustrating afternoon in the field Zimbabwe were desperate to get their response off to a good start.
Openers Shumba and Kaitano made a cautious start as they patiently put up 61 runs for the first wicket partnership stand before all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan trapped in front Shumba after his patient 83-ball 41.
That was the only wicket that Zimbabwe lost on the day as skipper Brendan Taylor and Kaitano remained unbeaten on 37 and 33 to ensure the hosts end the day on a high.