Mehidy Hasan Miraz: ‘Getting a five-for overseas is even more special’

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Takudzwanashe Kaitano, meanwhile, was elated to have made the highest score by a Zimbabwe opener on debut

Takudzwanashe Kaitano is the latest of 13 Test openers that Zimbabwe have tried in the last five years. On day three in Harare, he made 87, the highest score by a Zimbabwe Test opener, breaking Grant Flower’s 29-year-old record.
Kaitano kept Zimbabwe in the game for a long period, adding 61 with Milton Shumba for the first wicket and 115 with Brendan Taylor for the second. Having only made the XI after Kevin Kasuza pulled out injured, Kaitano gave a good account of himself, facing 311 balls, the third-most by a Zimbabwe debutant, and the third-most in any innings by a Zimbabwe opener since 2000.

The 28-year-old Kaitano’s elation at making his mark at the highest level was mixed with disappointment at the Zimbabwe collapse that gave Bangladesh a 192-run first-innings lead.

“I cannot express in words how special the feeling is,” he said at the end of the day’s play. “It has been a dream come true for me to play Test cricket for the country. It is a good feeling but you want to get over the line, and get a big score. The wicket was really good. I really wanted to get a big score and put the team in a good position.

“Going forward, I will take every innings as it comes. We just have to keep going as a team. We would have wanted to bat for longer, and get close to their total. Unfortunately we are back in the field again. We just have to keep it tight and hopefully restrict them to a low score that’s chaseable.”

Zimbabwe slumped from 225 for 2 to 276 all out, losing their last eight wickets for just 51 runs. Kaitano was one of those dismissed, caught down the leg side off Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who was rampant from that point on, running through the tail in a quick burst.

Miraz, who has now taken eight five-wicket hauls in Test cricket, said this one was special for being only his second five-for away from home.

“I took a five-for after a long time. A five-for gives the bowler a lot of confidence,” he said. “I have been getting two or three wickets lately, so this is good. Getting a five-for in overseas conditions makes it even more special. I last took a five-for in the West Indies in 2018.”

Miraz said Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque had reminded him and the other bowlers during the lunch break that they had to cut down the runs, after they had gone for a fair bit in the first session.

“It is a very slow and flat wicket, which made it difficult for our spinners,” Miraz said. “We tried to bowl in the right areas, and contain the runs. Most of all, we waited for their mistakes.

“Our captain told me that the spinners should contain the runs, whether we take the wickets or not. They were building partnerships but you may have seen that we bowled very well in the post-lunch session, when we only gave away 35 runs in 29 overs. We also took three wickets.”

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84