Zimbabwe 276 (Kaitano 87, Taylor 81, Miraz 5-82, Shakib 4-82) and 140 for 3 (Taylor 92) need another 337 runs to beat Bangladesh 468 (Mahmudullah 150*, Liton 95, Ahmed 75, Muzarabani 4-94) and 284 for 1 dec (Shanto 117*, Shadman 115*)
Harare: Zimbabwe posted 140/3 after Bangladesh declared their second innings on 284/1, still needing 337 runs to win on the final day in Harare on Saturday.
Bangladesh dominated the moving day with hundreds from Shadman Islam (115*) and Najmul Hossain Shanto (117*), giving the hosts a formidable target of 477. Even though captain Brendan Taylor rose to the occasion with yet another fifty, Zimbabwe only have seven wickets in hand to see off the final day threat.
The fourth day's play commenced with Shadman (22*) and Saif Hassan (20*) laying down a strong foundation. The pair stitched together an opening partnership of 88 runs before Saif was dismissed for 43 by a sharp catch by Dion Myers at gully off Richard Ngarava’s bowling.
Shadman was then joined by Shanto at the crease. The approach changed from blocking to attacking thereafter.
For the second wicket, both amassed 196 runs in 225 deliveries. Shadman showed patience for his maiden Test century, a 196-ball 115* while Shanto projected aggression in his innings of 117* from 118 balls. Shanto’s second Test century was laced with five fours and six big sixes.
Their partnership took the lead to 476 when Mominul Haque decided to declare the innings and make the exhausted Zimbabwe players bat in the final session.
The start was far from ideal for the hosts. Opener Milton Shumba couldn’t resist throwing his hands to the ball seaming away and edged it to the second slip where substitute fielder Yasir Ali completed the catch.
Then it was the captain Brendan Taylor who played a blinder with his 73-ball 92 but missed out a well-deserved hundred after Mehidy Hasan snared his wicket. At the other end, Takudzwanashe Kaitano, who played 102 deliveries for just seven runs, was trapped leg-before by Shakib Al Hasan.
The partnership of Taylor and Kaitano was worth 95 runs, out of which Taylor alone scored 92 runs. Thereon, Dion Myers (18*) was accompanied by nightwatchman Donald Tiripano (7*) to see off the remaining overs until stumps.
Zimbabwe still requires 337 runs while Bangladesh need seven wickets for the win on the final day of the Test.