Flurry of late wickets by spinners on the third day on Tuesday revived Bangladesh’s hopes of winning the second Test against Zimbabwe in Dhaka and square off the two-match series.
Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam led the attack for Bangladesh once again finishing with 5-107, his third consecutive five-wicket haul in the series, as the Tigers bowled out Zimbabwe for 304 runs in the first innings.
It earned Bangladesh a massive 218-run lead and the bragging right of enforcing a follow-on for the first time in their history, though it was unclear whether the side would ask Zimbabwe to bat again today.
Zimbabwe’s first innings ended with 19-run short of follow-on mark once Taijul dismissed Regis Chakabva for 10 as last man Tendai Chatara was unable to bat due to a hamstring injury.
Zimbabwe were on course to avoid the ignominy once Brendon Taylor hit 110 off 194 balls and Peter Moor added his career best 83 but Bangladesh spinners struck just in time to wrap up their innings.
The Tigers had medium pacer Ariful Haque to thank for bringing them back into the game just when they started regretting two drop catches that would have been very costly.
Substitute fielder Nazmul Islam dropped Moor on 75 at cover off Mustafizur Rahman and Mushfiqur Rahim put down Taylor on 94 off Taijul, leaving Tigers frustrated as the game was slipping out of hand.
Ariful came almost from nowhere to break Taylor and Moor’s 139-run partnership as he trapped the latter leg-before in his first over to begin the end of Zimbabwe’s innings.
Taylor brought his hundred with a double off Taijul three overs later and hit two boundaries in the same over to take Zimbabwe closer to follow on mark before off-spinner Mehedi Hasan struck.
Taijul took a flying catch at square leg to end the fine innings of Taylor, who hit 10 fours in his fifth Test century- fourth against Bangladesh and his first outside home.
Mehedi, who finished with 3-61, made Zimbabwe tremble when he made Brendon Mavuta a catch of Ariful at slip two balls later.
Kyle Jarvis survived two close catches that denied Mehedi a further success before Taijul, who claimed 11 wickets in the previous Test, wrapped up the innings in the other end.
Bangladesh also dominated the opening two sessions of the day after Zimbabwe resumed the play on 25-1 in response to the hosts’ mammoth first innings total of 522-7 declared.
Brian Chari led Zimbabwe’s initial resistance, hitting 53 off 128 balls before he was snared by Mehedi on the stroke of lunch.
Mominul Haque took the catch at short leg that was confirmed by ultra-edge after Bangladesh reviewed the initial not out decision.
Taijul dismissed nightwatchman Donald Tiripano for eight early in the morning but Chari provided some counter-punch, hitting six fours and two sixes in his second Test fifty.
Bangladesh were firmly in control once Taijul bowled Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza in a quick span of time in the post-lunch session to leave Zimbabwe struggling at 131-5.
Taylor and Moor steadied the innings with their big stand before they made the mess in last half-an-hour.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Cricket