Ref: Mushfiqur Rahim spared Bangladesh’s blushes with a gritty half-century on the opening day of the three-day practice match against Zimbabwe XI.
On a day that saw 14 wickets tumble on Saturday at the High Performance Centre and Country Club in Harare, the Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batsman carried the team to 188 all out in 60.1 overs with 64 off 143 balls after their decision to bat first almost proved disastrous.
By the close, the home side were themselves struggling on 42-4.
After winning the toss, the Tigers lost half the team – Imrul Kayes (8), Junaed Siddique (0), Mohammad Ashraful (0), Shahriar Nafees (10) and skipper Shakib Al Hasan (0) – with only 31 runs on the board.
Bangladesh, who are using the game to test their options ahead of the one-off Test starting on August 4, went to lunch battered and bruised on 53-4.
Mushfiqur and all-rounder Mahmudullah (21) then pushed the score along until the sixth-wicket pair were separated after adding 36 runs.
Mushfiqur also was involved in a vital seventh-wicket stand of 72 with Nasir Hossain before the latter was sent back for 38 off the bowling of spinner Prosper Utseya.
Paceman Njabulo Ncube was the pick of the Zimbabwe bowlers with 3-40. Kyle Jarvis, Keegan Meth and spinner Prosper Utseya bagged two wickets each. Tendai Chatara took one wicket.
When it was Zimbabwe XI’s turn to bat, the pattern of play continued with the loss of early wickets.
Tino Mawoyo was highest scorer with 17 before he became one of paceman Shafiul’s two wickets.
Tatenda Taibu, who has recovered from a thumb injury which had kept him on the sidelines, did not enjoy his return into the middle. The experienced Zimbabwean was run out for just eight.
Robiul Islam was the other wicket-taker.