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Zimbabwe still ahead despite late wickets

Zimbabwe had taken a tight grip on the match after bowling out the tourists for 287 to take an 87 run lead into the second innings of which Zimbabwe started just after tea.

Zimbabwe lost the top three batsmen and Raymond Price, who had been sent in for the night watchman’s job to collapse from a commanding position of 69 without loss to end the day on 92-4 with a lead of 179, to resume today.

On a day that Zimbabwe’s fast bowler and debutant Brian Vitori had sparkled with another sizzling bowling display which saw him fall one wicket short of a five-wicket haul, Zimbabwe looked to have taken full command only for Bangladesh to trigger a mini collapse.

With the fans performing their part in inspiring the team, Bangladesh was not to be outdone as they managed to claw back some initiative going into today’s play where captain Brendan Taylor and wicketkeeper batsman Tatenda Taibu resume on five and zero respectively.

Half centurion in the first innings Vusa Sibanda (38) was the first to go when he was caught by sub Nasir Hossain off Rubel Hossain, but not before he had entertained with three fours and one which he heaved over the boundary.

With just 10 runs having been added fellow opener Tino Mawoyo was to follow falling victim to Robiul Islam who clean-bowled him.

With the local fans thinking they had seen enough, there was more despair as first innings centurion Hamilton Masakadza was caught and bowled by captain Shakib Al Hasan, for Zimbabwe to send in Price but he could not survive till stumps either after he was trapped by Abdur Razzak for four.

The story of the day had been Vitori once again after the Masvingo-born player claimed two more scalps yesterday to add to his first two victims in that format of the game when he removed Mahmudullar Riyad, who had put in 13 runs and later accounted for wicketkeeper batsman Mushfiqur Rahim (27) combining with Mawoyo on both occasions.

Elton Chigumbura rid Zimbabwe of Mohammed Ashraful, who was threatening to take the Bangladesh fans to the stars cracking 10 fours before he perished on 73, top scoring for his team.

Bangladesh had resumed on their overnight score of 107-3 beneath a blue heaven with more fans coming in to watch the match having been inspired by Zimbabwe’s performance in the first two days.

Having got the breakthrough on the second day for Zimbabwe, Vitori also got Zimbabwe going by eliminating Mahmudullar with the first wicket of the day.

Bangladesh were dismissed for 287 and Zimbabwe’s opening batsman got off to a perfect second innings start before the tourist bowlers intervened.

Sipping on their favoured beverages, the fans enjoyed the first two sessions as things were going in Zimbabwe’s favour.

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