Harare: A strong all-round performance from Zimbabwe gave them a slender advantage in what has been a competitive Test match so far. The hosts batted their way to an 83-run first-innings lead after their bowlers put on an aggressive performance against Bangladesh's middle and lower order and extended that to 175 by the close of play, though they lost four wickets in the process.
Bangladesh would have been disappointed with their effort while batting. Their batsmen were able to negotiate Brian Vitori's movement and Kyle Jarvis' pace, but eventually fell prey to poor shot selection and lapses in concentration. Mohammad Ashraful, who had batted with a rare circumspection on day two, survived two chances in the first hour; a confident lbw appeal and a catch that wasn't taken off a mistimed pull shot over gully's head. Despite flirting with danger, he brought up a determined half-century with a confident cut through point.
Mahmudullah negotiated the attack with equal patience but then tamely pulled a short ball - one he should have sent over mid-wicket - to square leg. His departure brought Shakib Al Hasan to the crease, who formed a strong partnership with Ashraful. The pair ran well between the wickets and dealt with the persistent short-pitched bowling from Elton Chigumbura and Chris Mpofu in authoritative fashion.