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25 February, 2020 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 24 February, 2020 11:12:22 PM


Mushfiq marauds Zim with 203*

Mushfiq marauds Zim with 203*
Mushfiqur Rahim reacts after scoring a double century during the third day of a Test cricket match against Zimbabwe at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka yesterday. AFP photo

Bangladesh’s Mushfiqur Rahim was the star of the show yesterday when the hosts Bangladesh amassed a whopping 560-6 declared against the visitors Zimbabwe at close of the day three of the lone Test at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur. The middle order batsman smashed a spell-binding 203 not out that provided Bangladesh an impressive 295-run lead in the first innings after the Zimbabwe side was all out for 265.

In the process, he eclipsed the record of Garry Sobers (West Indies), Mark Taylor (Australia), Hanif Mohammad (Pakistan), Graham Gooch (England), Inzamamul Haque (Pakistan), VVS Laxman (India) and so on. All of them had a record of two double tons in Test.

Along with that, he entered the 14-men club of three double tons, where Viv Richards (West Indies), Sanath Jayasuria (Sri Lanka), Stephen Flaming (New Zealand), Chris Gayle (West Indies), Garry Kirstein (South Africa), Justin Langer (Australia) and Steven Smith (Australia) are members.

This was the third highest total for Bangladesh in a Test after 638 against Sri Lanka in 2013 and 595-8 declared against New Zealand in 2017.

Resuming the 3rd day of the match at 240-3, Bangladesh made a cautious start as they took 2, 1, 2, 4 and 0 in the initial four overs. And then, overnight batsmen skipper Mominul and ‘Mr Dependable’ Mushfiqur started their cracking on Zimbabwean bowlers as they chalked up 15 runs from the day’s sixth over.

In the eighth over, Mominul pushed Donald Tiripano’s short delivery to point for two runs due to some tag-team fielding on the boundary that gave Bangladesh one-run lead after overtaking Zimbabwe’s first innings total of 265. By virtue of the total, Bangladesh got lead in a Test after six Tests following one year and two months’ lull.

Just five overs after that, Mominul got his Test century that placed him alongside Tamim Iqbal as this one was his ninth hundred, but there is a discrete feeling for him as he did it first as the Test captain.

Both Mominul and Mushfiqur were then heading for their respective milestones. Rahim leaned back and guided Victor Nyauchi’s wide length delivery through the gap between slip and gully for four that surpassed his fifty and a century stand between these two.

Although Mominul drove Tiripano for boundary and put up his ninth hundred in Test, it was his first as captain for which all were earnestly waiting since the day started as there was no big individual score (hundred and double) from batsmen in the last six Tests his team played against New Zealand, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The captain took 156 balls to complete his hundred resuming the day three at 79. When Mominul was 121, Mushfiqur brought up his seventh Test century from 160 balls. Rahim became ruthless on Zimbabwean bowlers more than Mominul and flapped out Tiripano to the cover sweeper taking the partnership to 200. When their partnership reached 222, Mominul stepped down and looked to slap Ndlovu straight down the ground. But he couldn’t get it quite as high as he wanted and Ndlovu pulled off a stunning reflex catch.

He finally smacked 132 off 234, laced with 14 boundaries. It’s surprising that Mominul struck all the nine centuries on the home soil.

Thereafter, Mushfiqur partnered with Minthun and crossed the total 400-run mark, but Ndlovu again became dangerous for Mithun, who did not escape despite having reviewed. Actually, the Zimbabweans went up immediately for appeal, and the umpire also had no hesitation. Just a question of whether that caught the edge or not, there’s a little spike off the toe-end of the bat and that means Ndlovu’s wicket stayed. Mithun fell for just 17.

Liton Das then came to the crease and provided an able support to Mushfiqur, who was then driven towards his third double century from 150. They pulled together a helpful 111 for the sixth-wicket stand that surpassed the 500-run mark.

Liton notched up his half-century for which he played 91 balls. Sikandar Raza preyed Liton his first wicket. Liton milked 95-ball 53 with five boundaries. When Liton was out, Mushfiqur was 11 runs shy of his credible double ton. Taijul was supporting Mushfiqur, who completed his double century when he cut Ndlovu through point and entered into history. He became the first Bangladesh batsman to strike three double tons and eclipsed Tamim Iqbal’s highest Test runs of 4,405 as his total stood at 4,411 after the magnificent knock.

Coming in to bat for the second innings, Zimbabwe mislaid two wickets inside five overs to put nine runs on the board after Bangladesh declared their first innings. Off-spinner Nayeem Hasan claimed both the fallen wickets that gave Bangladesh a sniff of victory.



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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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