Taijul Islam shone with bat and ball as Bangladesh scored a tense three-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the first Test to grab the lead in the three-match series. The 22-year-old left-arm spinner became the first Bangladesh bowler to claim eight wickets in an innings, his figures of 8-39 helping to skittle Zimbabwe for 114 in the second innings.
Set a target of 101, Bangladesh slipped to 0-3 before Taijul, coming in at 82-7, guided his team home with an unbeaten 15 amid mounting tension on the third day at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Dhaka. Taijul, who put on an unbroken stand of 19 with skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (23*), was named the man of the match in only his third Test appearance.
It was Bangladesh’s fifth Test win in 86 matches and only the second at home after the 226-run win against the same opponents in Chittagong in 2005. The two lowest-ranked teams in Test cricket – Zimbabwe at number nine and Bangladesh at 10 – will resume battle when the second Test opens in Khulna on November 3.
Taijul eclipsed team-mate Shakib Al Hasan’s Bangladeshi record of 7-36 against New Zealand at Chittagong in 2008 as he spun out the Zimbabwe batsmen after the tourists resumed at 5-0.
Skipper Brendan Taylor was the only Zimbabwean to resist Taijul and the other bowlers, making an unbeaten 45, as six batsmen failed to reach double figures. Shahadat Hossain and Shakib shared the other two wickets.
Elton Chigumbura claimed four for 21 as Bangladesh almost messed up what should have been a simple chase even on the deteriorating pitch. Having lost the top three batsmen without a run on the board, the hosts buckled under pressure before Rahim and Taijul bailed them out.
Brief scores: Zimbabwe: 240 & 114 (B Taylor 45*; T Islam 8-39). Bangladesh: 254 (Mushfiqur 64, Mahmudullah 63, Mominul 53; Panyangara 5-59, Raza 1-12) and 101/7 (E Chigumbura 4-21)