Tigers win big in Mahmudullah’s ‘final Test’

July 12, 2021

Match analysis
Tigers win big in Mahmudullah’s ‘final Test’
Off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz took the best match figures for a Bangladesh bowler overseas to help dismiss Zimbabwe for 256 and see his side to a 220-run win on the fifth day of the only Test at the Harare Sports Club on Sunday. Zimbabwe had been set an imposing target of 477 for the win, and made a good start by reaching 110 for one, before the wicket of the experienced Brendan Taylor (92 from 73 balls) started their slide.
They resumed on the fifth morning on 140 for three, but lost four quick wickets when Mehedi (4-66) and Taskin Ahmed (4-82) ripped through the middle-order.
Mehedi’s match figures of 9-148 are the best for a Bangladeshi bowler in an away Test.
Donald Tiripano (52) held up the Bangladeshi charge, but when he was the ninth wicket to fall, the tourists were able to record just their fifth ever away Test win in 59 matches, and their first since beating Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2017.
It is Bangladesh’s second victory in Zimbabwe, with the other two away wins both coming in the West Indies in 2009.
The win also marked the farewell from the format for veteran Mahmudullah Riyad, who announced his retirement from Tests on the third day of the game. At the start of play yesterday, his teammates gave Mahmudullah a guard of honour and captain Mominul Haque let him lead the team out onto the ground.
After being included in the playing XI at the last moment, Mahmudullah rescued Bangladesh with a first-innings 150 batting at No 8. He added 191 runs for the ninth wicket with Taskin Ahmed, who made a career-best 75.
The 34-year-old was adjudged player-of-the-match, however, during the post-match presentation there was no official announcement from the man about his retirement. The Bangladesh Cricket Board has not made any official announcement either, but it is understood that Mahmudullah is sticking to his decision of not playing in the longest format anymore, a decision he had reportedly conveyed to his teammates during the third day of the Test.
The teams will now contest a three-match One-Day International series starting on Friday, which will be followed by three Twenty20 matches.

-With The Daily Star input

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