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Rahim's patient-vigil puts Bangladesh in command


Over 500 minutes. 393 balls – the amount of time Mushfiqur Rahim (195 not out) has batted in the second Test so far. The veteran cricketer put up a wonderful exhibition of Test match batsmanship to pilot Bangladesh to a commanding position at Tea on Day 2 of the Dhaka Test versus Zimbabwe. The hosts were 470 for 7 when umpires called for Tea.

When the second session commenced, Rahim and Mahmudullah (36) would have hoped to build on the good work of the morning session. However, Kyle Jarvis struck early after the break by removing the Bangladesh captain. It was a trademark delivery from Jarvis as he bowled it in the channel and extracted movement off the pitch to induce Mahmudullah to edge one behind the stumps.

Ariful Hoque, who gave a good account of himself in the first Test, didn’t last long as he became Jarvis’ fifth victim. Mehidy Hasan, the promising all rounder, however, joined forces with Rahim to ensure Bangladesh wouldn’t lose another wicket for the rest of the session. Initially, Mehidy was the more aggressive of the two batsmen, evidenced by the three fours he cracked off Donald Tiripano and Sean Williams.

Rahim, who reached his 150 with a thick outside edge that raced to the third man fence, then took over by cracking a four and a six off Raza in the 138th over. He also collected boundaries off Sean Williams and Brandon Mavuta. At the break, Rahim had played the longest innings by a Bangladesh batsman in Tests; capsulising his immense concentration prowess. For the visitors, Raza did create a chance when Mehidy looked for the cut and mistimed it towards Hamilton Masakadza at first slip, but the Zimbabwe captain couldn’t latch onto the tough chance.

Earlier, in what turned out to be an attritional first session, Rahim and Mahmudullah continued to grind down Zimbabwe. The duo mainly looked to stonewall the visiting side’s bowlers. The Zimbabwe pace pair of Kyle Jarvis and Tendai Chatara also bowled zestful spells and extracted awkward bounce to keep the opposition in check.

Chatara, in particular, hit the deck hard to extract life out of an uneven surface. He also should have reaped the rewards for his persistence when he jagged one back into the right-handed Rahim and induced an inside edge. The ball flew towards Hamilton Masakadza at first slip, but Regis Chakabva, the ‘keeper, instinctively dived across, but couldn’t hold onto the catch despite stretching his right-hand. To make matters worse for the visitors, Chatara soon pulled up with a thigh injury. He had to be taken off the field on a stretcher. Subsequently, he was also ruled out of the rest of the Test.

With Rahim just five runs short of completing his second Test double century, Bangladesh perhaps would look at declaring the innings as soon as he reaches the milestone.

Brief scores: Bangladesh 470/7 (Mominul Haque 161, Mushfiqur Rahim 195*; Kyle Jarvis 3-56) vs Zimbabwe.

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