Nayeem Hasan, Taijul Islam spin Bangladesh to innings win

Lunch Zimbabwe 114 for 5 (Raza 33*, Nayeem 3-44) and 265 trail Bangladesh 560 for 6 dec (Rahim 203*, Mominul 132) by 181 runs

Bangladesh’s march to victory continued with a couple of vital wickets on the fourth morning in Mirpur. It was the spinners that struck first, with Taijul Islam opening a route into the middle order with a wicket in the sixth over of the morning before Nayeem Hasan struck the big blow, removing Brendan Taylor in his first over of the day. After a brief rally, the run-out of Craig Ervine further sunk Zimbabwe and they went to lunch at 114 for 5, still 181 runs shy of making Bangladesh bat again.

With men crowding the bat and pressure from the off, Islam didn’t take long to get the better of Kevin Kasuza. Coming around the stumps, and making liberal use of the arm ball, he suckered the right-hand batsman into playing inside an orthodox delivery that gripped on the surface, taking the shoulder of the bat and landing in the lap of Mohammad Mithun at second slip.

Taylor appeared much more at ease against the left-arm spinner, stepping out to loft him cleanly over the long-off boundary, but it was similar positivity that got him into trouble against Nayeem. Taylor missed a reverse sweep to the offspinner’s second delivery of the day, and then perished attempting an aggressive regulation sweep shortly afterwards. Aiming for the midwicket boundary, Taylor instead watched in dismay as a looping top-edge was easily caught by Islam, running in from deep backward square.

Despite the dismissals, the Zimbabwe batsmen kept playing their shots. Sikandar Raza whipped Nayeem through square leg with a one-handed sweep early in his innings, while Ervine was even more proactive. Having cruised into the 20s with a pair of boundaries on either side of the pitch in Nayeem’s third over of the morning, he stepped out to hit the same bowler over long-on and repeatedly demonstrated that he wasn’t afraid to use his feet to the slower bowlers.

At the other end, Raza paddled Islam to the fine-leg boundary, and then raised the fifty stand by powering him well over long-on for his first six, the runs having flowed at close to five an over. Ervine, meanwhile, was into the 40s at virtually a run a ball but Nayeem kept probing, and might have removed Zimbabwe’s captain had Liton Das been able to complete a stumping opportunity 15 minutes before the lunch interval. Drawn out of his crease, Ervine was beaten by the turn and bounce, but so was Das, the ball rearing up to hit him on the shoulder.

The error wasn’t a costly one. Moments before lunch, Raza tapped Islam towards point and the batting pair chanced a quick single. But Mominul Haque was onto the ball in a flash, hurling in a direct hit to catch Ervine short of his ground: the first time Ervine has been run out in this format.

With a light drizzle starting to fall, Raza survived until lunch alongside Timycen Maruma, but three wickets in the session significantly advanced Bangladesh’s cause.