Despite a dominating century of Craig Ervine, Bangladesh bowlers, led by a unrelenting Nayeem Hasan hit back in style to put the side on top over Zimbabwe on day one of the solitary Test against Zimbabwe at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium here on Saturday.
The off-spinner Nayeem Hasan, who was chosen over Mehidy Hasan Miraz, claimed 4-68 in 36 overs, including the wicket of Ervine at the fag end of the day as Zimbabwe reached 228-6.
Nayeem was ably supported by pace bowler Abu Jayed Rahi’s 2-51 on a day, what looked to have been the Zimbabwe’s day after stand-in captain Ervine kept the side ticking almost throughout the day.
Ervine was dismissed at the penultimate over of the day after hitting 107 off 227, his third Test century, sending the ball across the rope 13 times.
With the crucial wicket, Bangladesh exposed the tail of the Zimbabwe, abating the visitors’ complete domination on the opening day of the Test.
After Ervine opted to bat first, Zimbabwe openers Kevin Kasuza and Prince Masvaure started watchfully, allowing new ball bowlers-Abu Jayed Rahi and Ebabdat deliver four maiden overs.
Rahi however got the reward of his persistence as he had Kasuza caught by Nayeem at gully for 2, with a perfect outswinger
But Ervine and Masvaure put the pressure on Bangladesh, keeping them unscathed through the first session.
Nayeem Hasan who came to bowl in the 11th over was given a marathon spell, including the whole post lunch session that saw him delivered 32 overs in a row.
Vastly due to his accurate line and length alongside Rahi, he was given the marathon spell but he didn’t disappoint and more pleasing factor for Bangladesh, he didn’t feel fatigued.
In his 32-over spell, he took three wickets and also stemmed run flow, to ensure that Zimbabwe would never boss Bangladesh despite losing less number of wickets. He and Rahi indeed was the reason that Zimbabwe never could score freely, something what gave Bangladesh a hope to bowl the visitors out below 300 runs in first innings.
Nayeem broke through with the wicket of Masvaure, who made 64 off 152 with nine fours, bringing an end to the 111-run partnership with Ervine.
Shortly after that, he got the better of seasoned campaigner Brendan Taylor for 10, who dragged one onto his stump after trying to a reverse-sweep.
Sikandar Raza who made 18, was the last wicket in Nayeem’s 32-over spell after which he was taken off from the bowling.
Just one over before the new ball is available, Bangladesh got another crucial breakthrough through Rahi, who dismissed Timycen Maruma for 7 but still they were not in control, vastly due to Ervine’s assured presence in the crease.
Nayeem them came back for his second spell and immediately gave Bangladesh what they expected passionately as he claimed the big wicket of Ervine.
Before the bails were drawn for day one, Regis Chakabva, the last recognized batsman of Zimbabwe side was batting on 7, with Donald Tiripano who is yet to score.