Bangladesh closed in on a maiden test win in Zimbabwe after reducing the hosts to 138 for four wickets in pursuit of 401 as bad light brought an early halt to play on day four of the second and final test at the Harare Sports Club on Sunday.
An excellent 93 from Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim helped the tourists to declare their second innings on 291 for nine midway through the fourth day, setting Zimbabwe a huge victory target. All of the home batsmen got starts in their second knock, but wickets at regular intervals put Bangladesh into a dominant position going into day five.
The previous six tests between the pair in Zimbabwe have resulted in five wins for the home side and a draw, leaving the tourists eyeing a piece of history on the final day. Resuming on 163 for five, Mushfiqur Rahim put on 84 for the sixth wicket with Nasir Hossain (67 not out) as the pair took the game away from the hosts.
Shingi Masakadza was the pick of the Zimbabwe bowlers with four for 58, while his older brother Hamilton weighed in with three for 24. Zimbabwe started their chase positively, Regis Chakabva scoring at a run a ball before he was dismissed for 22. The big wicket of Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor (10), who scored centuries in each innings in the first test, was a huge blow for the home team's chances and reduced them to 96 for three.
Hamilton (46) and Shingi Masakadza (seven) will resume on Monday with the home side needing to get another 263 runs to win, or to bat out 90 overs to save the test and claim the series. Zimbabwe won the first by 335 runs and are looking for their third home test series win. Their previous two both came against Bangladesh, in 2001 and 2004.