Rahim hits second double century as Bangladesh dominate
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Mushfiqur Rahim hit 219 not out, the highest individual score by a Bangladesh batsman, to guide the hosts into a position of dominance against Zimbabwe on Monday, the second day of the final test.
Rahim, the first wicketkeeper-batsman to score two double centuries in test-match cricket, helped Bangladesh declare the first innings on 522-7 for its highest score against Zimbabwe and take a firm grip on the test by reducing the visitors to 25-1 at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
No batsman from Bangladesh has ever hit more than one double century, with Tamim Iqbal (206) and Shakib Al Hasan (217) its other two double centurions.
“I honestly did not know or remember,” Rahim said. “All that I thought of was that I had to score 200, and then as much as possible.
“To be honest, I wanted to score at least 250 so that we could reach an even better position. At the same time, I think we also have to give the bowlers enough time as the wicket has not deteriorated that much.”
After his record 266-run fourth-wicket partnership with Mominul Haque (161) on the first day, Rahim made two important partnerships on day two to slowly bat out Zimbabwe.
He and skipper Mahmudullah combined for 73 runs for the sixth wicket before sharing a 144-run partnership with Mehidy Hasan in an unbroken eighth-wicket partnership.
Bangladesh mustered 105 runs in the second session at the expense of two wickets after accumulating only 62 runs in the opening session of day two, resuming the day on 303-5.
“Spinners will get a lot of help (later),” Rahim said. “Our plan was to bat so big in the first innings that we don’t need the second innings. Mominul batted really well while (Hasan) supported me with his runs. I am thankful to them.”
After a wicketless session, fast bowler Kyle Jarvis (5-71) gave Zimbabwe its first breakthrough just after lunch, removing Mahmudullah for 36.
Two overs later, Jarvis completed his third five-for, getting the better of Ariful Haque (4) with a short-pitched delivery.
But that was Zimbabwe’s last success on the frustrating day as it was one bowler short after fast bowler Tendai Chatara strained his left quadriceps, ruling him out from the match after he delivered only two balls in the morning session.
Zimbabwe fielding coach Shepherd Makunura said Chatara was set to undergo medical exams on Monday night.
“Obviously, in such a state, you wouldn’t want to lose one of your strike bowlers,” Makunura said. “I think the game is still evenly poised, although Bangladesh batted quite well. If we can negotiate the first session, we can make life a little easier for ourselves. It’s going to take a lot of batting for us.”
In an otherwise a chanceless innings, Rahim dominated the bowlers completely, hitting 18 fours and one six in an innings of 421 balls.
Mehidy Hasan helped him however with 68 not out, smashing five fours and one six.
Aiming to win its first test series since 2011, Zimbabwe began cautiously before left-arm spinner Taijul Islam broke through with the wicket of captain Hamilton Maskadza, who pushed a turning delivery to first slip for 14.
Brian Chari and nightwatchman Donald Tiripano were batting on 10 and 0 before the end of the day.