Castle Test, Day 4 in Harare:Bangladesh 287 and 112 for 3 (Tamim 43) need another 263 runs to beat Zimbabwe 370 and 291 for 5 dec (Taylor 105*, Taibu 59).
The new Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor’s maiden Test century has paved the way for what will, barring most unusual circumstances, be an outstanding and highly creditable victory for the home side on the final day.
Bangladesh opens their month-long tour in Zimbabwe with a three-day practice match. Shakib Al Hasan’s men, who arrived on Thursday jet-lagged after an unnecessary delay in South Africa, will take on a Zimbabwe XI at the High Performance Centre at Country Club in Harare on Saturday.
New coach Stuart Law is expected to field a strong playing eleven for the game with a view to testing his options ahead of the one-off Test starting on August 4 at the Harare Sports Club ground. The Australian’s main concern will be the fitness of Tamim Iqbal who has a groin strain. The dashing opener sustained it while playing in England recently. The injury prevented him from taking part in the national camp.
The Test will be Bangladesh’s first in 14 months while for Zimbabwe it will herald the end of their five-year spell in the wilderness. Zimbabwe have decided to rest their senior players with skipper Brendan Taylor, Hamilton Masakadza, Ray Price and Elton Chigumbura out for the warm-up match. The Harare Sports Club ground will host the first three ODIs on August 12, 14 and 16. The final two games will be played at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on August 19 and 21.
Zimbabwe Cricket’s 2011/12 international and domestic season will be opened by international A sides, Australia ‘A’ and South Africa ‘A’ are expected to arrive in the country as the first nations, marking the beginning of Zimbabwe’s cricket year.