Batsmen complemented the bowlers, enabling Bangladesh to dominate a Test match for the first time in more than a year as they took command over Zimbabwe in the one-off series in Dhaka on Sunday.
Nazmul Hossain and skipper Mominul Haque hit fifties as Bangladesh reached 240-3 at stumps on the second day, trailing Zimbabwe’s first innings total of 265 runs by only 25 runs.
Nazmul made 71 off 139 balls while Mominul closed in on his ninth Test century to remain unbeaten on 79, helping the Tigers raise the prospect of taking a first innings lead after six Tests.
Nazmul led Bangladesh’s initial charge after Victor Nyauchi removed opener Saif Hasan cheaply for eight to give Zimbabwe an early breakthrough.
The young left-hander, who scored a double hundred in domestic first-class cricket only last week, was involved in two sizable partnerships of 78 and 76 runs respectably with Tamim Iqbal and Mominul on his way to his maiden Test fifty.
Tamim looked destined for a big innings before he edged Donald Tiripano to wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva for 41 runs.
Nazmul, who hit seven fours in his fluent innings, also showed signs of reaching a big score before an erroneous attempted drive cost him his wicket.
Debutant Charlton Tshuma dismissed Nazmul against the run of play for his maiden Test wicket as wicket keeper Regis Chakabva took his third catch of the day.
But Mominul and Mushfiqur Rahim (32 not out) averted further damage before stumps with an unbroken 68-run fourth wicket stand.
Mominul flicked Anisley Ndlovu for a single to bring his first fifty since becoming Bangladesh Test captain and stayed calm to preserve a chance of stretching the innings further.
Mushfiq survived a strong appeal for leg before on nine before batting carefully to protect his wicket until stumps.
Zimbabwe skipper Craig Ervine, whose 107 was the mainstay in their innings, was cut a frustrated figure after the second day’s play as he believed they could have bowled better.
‘I think the bowling was a little bit disappointing. We didn’t hit the good areas consistently enough. Obviously tomorrow [today] we will like to come back strongly and break the partnership as early as possible,’ he said.
Pacer Abu Jayed earlier shared the remaining four wickets with left-arm spinner Taijul Islam and claimed career-best 4-71 as Bangladesh wrapped up the Zimbabwe innings in 80 minutes in the morning session.
Zimbabwe could only add 37 runs to their overnight score of 228-6 before losing their remaining wickets.
Jayed dismissed overnight batsman Donald Tiripano, who edged to wicketkeeper Liton Das after making eight runs.
Jayed then handed Ndlovu a duck in his next over to give Bangladesh the second breakthrough on the day.
Taijul, who remained wicketless on day one, joined the act and trapped Charlton Tshuma for a duck in the next over before he dismissed another overnight batsman Chakabva for 30 to end with 2-90.
Nayeem took the catch of Chakabva at mid-wicket, which forced him to left content with his overnight tally of four wickets. He finished with 4-70, which, nevertheless, was still the best bowling figure for Bangladesh.