Raza strikes as Zimbabwe march towards long-awaited win

Vastavam web: Brandon Mavuta and Sikandar Raza shared seven wickets between them as Zimbabwe recorded their first Test win in five years with a thumping 151-run victory over Bangladesh on Tuesday. Debutant leg-spinner Mavuta claimed 4-21 and off-spinner Raza’s 3-41 as hosts Bangladesh were left chasing 321 runs on the fourth day in the northeastern city of Sylhet. Wellington Masakadza, another debutant, also shone with two wickets as Zimbabwe made quick work of Bangladesh’s lower order, dismissing the hosts for 169.

It is also the first time Zimbabwe has clinched an away Test victory since beating Bangladesh in Chittagong 17 years ago in 2001. “I am ecstatic. I thought the guys went out and worked really hard to apply themselves,” Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza said in the post match presentation ceremony. Zimbabwe sensed a win once Raza claimed three vital wickets in the opening session to reduce Bangladesh’s innings to half.

Bangladesh resumed play on 26-0 but within half-an-hour had lost their first wicket, with others following quickly. Play started 30 minutes early to make up for the lost time after bad light brought a premature end to day three, with Bangladesh still needing 295 runs on a wearing pitch. The home side — whose best run chase was 217-6 against the West Indies in 2009 started to throw wickets once Raza reviewed a leg-before appeal against opener Liton Das.

The umpire gave Liton not out but a TV replay indicated the ball would have hit the stump after pitching outside off ending Liton’s innings on 23. Skipper Mahmudullah promoted himself to number four but could not rescue his side and perished for 16, giving a catch to substitute fielder Craig Ervine at short leg off Raza.

Raza then took a spectacular catch at cover on the stroke of lunch to hand debutant Mavuta his maiden Test wicket and send back Nazmul Hossain. “I think the wicket was good, but we didn’t apply ourselves with the bat. We were not disciplined enough to restrict our strokes,” said Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah.