Tigers victory in Mahmudullah’s “Final Test”

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On the fifth day of the lone Test at the Harare Sports Club on Sunday, off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz took the greatest match stats for a Bangladesh bowler overseas, helping his side knock Zimbabwe for 256 and win by 220-runs.

Zimbabwe had been handed an imposing goal of 477 to win, and they got off to a promising start, reaching 110 for one before losing their wicket to the seasoned Brendan Taylor (92 from 73 balls).

On the fifth morning, they resumed on 140 for three, but lost four fast wickets as Mehedi (4-66) and Taskin Ahmed (4-82) ripped through the middle order.

Mehedi’s match numbers of 9-148 are the best in an away Test by a Bangladeshi bowler.

Donald Tiripano (52) led the Bangladeshi assault, but when he was the ninth wicket to fall, the tourists recorded their sixth away Test win in 59 matches, and their first since defeating Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2017.

Bangladesh has won twice in Zimbabwe, with the other two victories coming in the West Indies in 2009.

The victory also marked the final appearance of veteran Mahmudullah Riyad in the format, who announced his retirement from Tests on the third day of the contest. His teammates presented Mahmudullah with a guard of honour at the outset of play yesterday, and captain Mominul Haque allowed him to lead the team out onto the field.

Mahmudullah saved Bangladesh with a first-innings 150 batting at No. 8 after being inserted into the playing XI at the last minute. He and Taskin Ahmed combined 191 runs for the ninth wicket, with Taskin scoring a career-best 75.

The 34-year-old was named player-of-the-match, but there was no official declaration about his retirement during the post-match ceremony. The Bangladesh Cricket Board has also not issued an official announcement, but it is thought that Mahmudullah is adhering to his decision to no longer play in the longest format, which he reportedly communicated to his teammates on the third day of the Test.

Starting on Friday, the teams will compete in a three-match One-Day International series, followed by three Twenty20 matches.

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