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Tigers seven-wicket shy of rare away series win

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 11 July, 2021 12:00 AM
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Tigers seven-wicket shy of rare away series win
Bangladesh batsmen Shadman Islam (left) and Najmul Hossain pose for a photo after both scored a century each in one-off Test series against Zimbabwe in Harare on Saturday. ZC PHOTO

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Bangladesh came inches closer to complete their first overseas Test series win in Zimbabwean soil after Shadman Islam and Najmul Hossain struck unbeaten hundreds followed by their bowlers taking three wickets in Zimbabwe’s second innings on the fourth day of the one-off Test series in Harare on Saturday.

Shadman scored 115 off 196 balls, his maiden Test ton in the eighth Test while Najmul made 117 off 118 balls, his second Test ton in the last six innings, which helped Bangladesh declare their second innings on 284-1 in 67.4 overs to set Zimbabwe a record target of 477 runs at Harare Sports Club.

Zimbabwe’s stand-in skipper Brendan Taylor then struck a blazing 92 off 73 balls and put up a 95-run stand with debutant Takudzwanashe Kaitano in the mammoth run chase but his dismissal to Mehidy Hasan made the target already beyond their reach.

Kaitano, who made 87 off 311 balls in the first innings, scored a dogged seven off 102 balls before Shakib Al Hasan trapped him in front and reduced the hosts to 140-3 at stumps of day four.

Zimbabwe will need 337 runs to win the Test on the final day while they need to play out the whole day to stop Bangladesh from winning their first overseas Test series after 2009.

Saif Hassan and Shadman Islam added 43 runs to their overnight 45-0 in the second innings before the former was dismissed by Richard Ngarava after making a career-best 43.

However, it was all Shadman and Najmul after that as the pair put up an unbroken 196-run stand for the second wicket to give Bangladeshi bowlers a colossal total to defend.

Bangladesh, who made 468 runs in their first innings, earlier took a massive 192-run lead after bowling out Zimbabwe for 276 runs in their first innings.