The sun shining brightly. The new style of arranging the grass of Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium at Mirpur gave the impression of a chessboard and the greenish boxes were soaked up by the early morning dew – certainly, it helped to elevate the mood, but the greenish-tinge in some areas of the pitch in the center might not have satisfied the team, which would bat first. Still, the Zimbabwean skipper, Craig Ervine, won the toss and decided to bat first.

Ervine realized the life in the wicket would ease if his batters could exhibit the same grit they showed against Sri Lanka a few weeks ago. The idea was simple by the visiting batters – occupy the crease, score runs according to their limitations and make the home team bowlers toil hard.

Abu Jayed struck early. Ebadot Hossain bowled with enough intent. But Jayed was too good in terms of maintaining the discipline.

Bangladesh should have preferred a third seamer. Pace did have a say today and against the incoming and those deliveries, which straightened up after pitching, posed a threat. Ebadot and Jayed did deliver those, with Jayed doing it with a bit more accurately and thus bagged wickets.

But they took a heavy toll with minimum support. One must realize the fact, the Bangladeshi pacers are not long-spell-horses, but requires rest to maintain the fitness and rhythm.

The Mirpur deck started to lose it’s bounce and kept low at the stroke of lunch. It won’t offer any sort of freedom to execute free-flowing stroke-play until and unless the bowling side bowls too badly.

With Taijul Islam left struggling with discipline, I think, the rest of Bangladeshi bowlers did a good job. Nayeem Hasan looked sharp and I appreciate his length – always made the batsmen play forward and execute false strokes.

But the resolve of Zimbabwean batsmen deserves a lot of credit. Especially Craig Ervine marshaled the innings with a gritty hundred. Otherwise, Zimbabwe would have crumbled.

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