Bangladesh Break Their Duck
11 Feb 2005
By: Richard Twyman
Left-arm spinner Enamul Haque junior recorded the best bowling figures by a Bangladeshi in Test cricket as their 34-match winless run came to an end in style at the MA Aziz stadium in Chittagong, defeating Zimbabwe by 226 runs.
Following last night's declaration - only the second in their short history - and Tapash Baisya's early double-wicket burst, Zimbabwe resumed on 46-3 chasing a highly improbable 381 for hypothetical victory, with the more realistic target being batting throughout the day to save the game.
The unbeaten overnight pair, Hamilton Masakadza and Brendon Taylor, didn't share the opinion that the win was unattainable as they followed a circumspect start with a distinct depression of the accelerator - and as Bangladesh's top bowler, Mohammad Rafique, was hit out of the attack, nerves began to jangle in the legions of assembled fans.
As is so often the case in cricket, it was the drinks break that wrought a change in the complexion of the run-chase, with the recalled Enamul the architect. His arm ball deceived Taylor (44) into offering no shot, and the LBW decision triggered a collapse that Zimbabwe never recovered from. Captain and first-innings bulwark Tatenda Taibu turned the spinner to Aftab Ahmed at short leg - 115 for 5, and Bangladesh had the game by the scruff of the neck.
They didn't look back. Masakadza completed fifty before mistiming a drive back to the exultant Enamul, and after lunch Mashrafe Mortaza disposed of the dangerous Elton Chigumbura as he wafted away from his body and edged through to Khaled Mashud. As he fell, so did the last lines of Zimbabwean resistance.
Enamul picked up his five-for when Graeme Cremer deflected to silly mid-off where Rajin Saleh held on one-handed before Mashrafe brought the Tigers to the brink as he nailed Mluleki Nkala's off bail before his approach the following delivery was disrupted as the emotion of the situation got the better of him.
Fittingly, it was Enamul who delivered the finishing touch as Chris Mpofu guided him to Mohammad Ashraful at silly point. 2:56pm local time, and Bangladesh had won by 226 runs - a fantastic end to MA Aziz Stadium's time as a Test venue.
The big question for Bangladesh is now whether they can take this on and finally bridge the gap to the West Indies. All shall be revealed in the coming years, but the first step is to make it 2-0 at Dhaka next week....
Habibul Bashar 94, Rajin Saleh 89
CB Mpofu 4-109, ML Nkala 2-50
T Taibu 92, E Chigumbura 71
Mohammad Rafique 5-65, Mashrafe Mortaza 3-59
Habibul Bashar 55, Rajin Saleh 26
E Chigumbura 5-54, DT Hondo 3-61
H Masakadza 56, BRM Taylor 44
Enamul Haque jnr 6-45, Tapash Baisya 2-20
Bangladesh won by 226 runs
CricketWeb Player of the Match
Enamul Haque junior - 6-45