Bangladesh staged fightbacks with both ball and bat on the second day of the one-off Test against Zimbabwe at Harare to leave the game well balanced at the end of the day.
Zimbabwe had looked on course for a daunting first innings total after reaching 304 for two on the back of Hamilton Masakadza’s second Test century, but Bangladesh sparked a collapse that saw the hosts all out for 370.
The visitors were then reduced to 36 for two in their reply before Shahriar Nafees and Mohammad Ashraful staged another Bangladesh recovery, this time with the bat, as the duo put on a 66-run stand for the third wicket.
Nafees fell for 50 just before the close, though, to leave Bangladesh on 107 for three – 263 runs adrift of their opponents’ total.
Zimbabwe. playing in their first Test match since ending a self-imposed six-year exile from the longest format of the game, looked to be cruising midway through the morning session with Masakadza and captain Brendan Taylor (71) at the wicket.
Masakadza had added the 12 runs he needed to his overnight score to reach three figures and the pair had extended their third-wicket stand to 142.
However, the dismissal of Masakadza, caught by Imrul Kayes at slip off the bowling of Robiul Islam for 104, was the start of a remarkable reversal of fortunes as Zimbabwe lost their final eight wickets for just 66 runs.
Aside from the top four batsmen, who contributed 296 runs between them, only Tatenda Taibu (23) and Brian Vitori (12) managed to reach double figures for the host nation.
Shakib Al Hasan and Rubel Hossain both finished with three wickets apiece for Bangladesh.
The tourists suffered two early blows in their reply when openers Imrul Kayes (four) and Tamim Iqbal (15) were both dismissed by Vitori, but Nafees and Ashraful helped dig their side out of another hole with a patient third-wicket partnership.
Nafees, who struck nine fours in his 126-ball knock having been dropped in the slips on 12, was unable to stay until stumps as he was bowled by Ray Price, but Ashraful remained unbeaten on 34, with Mahmudullah also there on four not out.