2nd Test, Harare

Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 2012-13

Mushiqur Rahim plays on the leg side, Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Harare, 3rd day, April 27, 2013
Mushfiqur Rahim starred with the bat in both innings for Bangladesh © Associated Press
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Tour and tournament reports : Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 2012-13
Series/Tournaments: Bangladesh tour of Zimbabwe

At Harare, April 25-29, 2013. Bangladesh won by 143 runs. Toss: Zimbabwe. Test debut: Ziaur Rahman.

If the First Test was decided by the skill of one player, the Second boiled down to all-round incompetence - with Bangladesh marginally less guilty than Zimbabwe. Catches went down as if in a club match and, when the fielders failed to oblige, batsmen contrived to get themselves out. The bowling was rarely threatening or consistent; it didn't need to be.

Taylor bowled first on winning the toss, a plan formed in the days leading up to the match. But the pitch lacked the zest of the one used in the First Test, and Zimbabwe's bowlers were punished. They did not exactly help themselves in the field, either: on the first day alone, they missed four run-out chances and three catches - two by Cremer. Bangladesh also had their moments. They gift-wrapped their first five wickets, but still closed the day on 300 for six - thanks largely to Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, who provided some much-needed sanity in a stand of 123. "Aside from the captain, we all gave our wickets away," admitted Tamim Iqbal. "Mine was a disgraceful dismissal - a rush of blood to the head." Tamim could have been run out in both the first over of the Test and the first after lunch, before he actually was, panicking one run short of fifty.

His assessment extended to many others, even if no one else was quite so honest in public. After Nasir Hossain extended the total on the second morning, Zimbabwe's batsmen travelled their own train of shame, although Robiul Islam deserved credit for his tireless display. Where Zimbabwe's quicks had lacked the mental capacity to employ a more patient length on a benign pitch, Robiul was relentless and strong, becoming the first Bangladesh seamer to take consecutive five-wicket hauls.

Bangladesh devised a crafty plan to Taylor, their nemesis in the First Test - a barrage of short stuff from Robiul, with a fine third man stationed to discourage his favourite ramp shot. Attempting to force the pace against the off-spin of Sohag Gazi, Taylor eventually holed out to deep midwicket. A counter-attacking Test-best 86 from Chigumbura waylaid Zimbabwean concerns about the follow-on, and they suddenly found themselves back in the game for an hour either side of tea on day three, courtesy of some wobbly Bangladesh batting and - in the absence of the DRS - questionable umpiring. Tamim was fined 10% of his match fee for showing dissent after Tony Hill gave him out caught behind to a ball which missed the edge. The Masakadza brothers did an admirable job filling in for Meth, who could not bowl because of a knee problem. But once the trio of Shakib, Mushfiqur and Nasir had performed a second rescue act, the game was up.

Zimbabwe needed at least two serious contributions if they were going to challenge a target of 401 in four and a half sessions, but received just one, as Hamilton Masakadza achieved his third Test hundred. Bangladesh's victory was their first in Zimbabwe in seven attempts, their first in 18 Tests since beating a badly weakened West Indies four years earlier, and only their fourth overall out of 79. It was not hard to see why.
Man of the Match: Mushfiqur Rahim. Man of the Series: Robiul Islam.

© John Wisden & Co.