Zimbabwe shine on return to Test cricket in Harare
Last updated on .From the section Cricket
|Only Test, Harare (day one):|
|Zimbabwe 264-2 v Bangladesh|
Zimbabwe made a confident start against Bangladesh on the first day of their first Test since September 2005.
Player disputes, political rows and turmoil in the country had all left Zimbabwe with a severely weakened team as they lost to India by 10 wickets the last time they featured in a Test.
Zimbabwe then withdrew from Tests in January 2006, although they continued to play limited-overs internationals.
Having lost the toss in Harare, they reached 264-2 by the close of day one.
"To have Zimbabwe return to playing competitive Test cricket is a progressive step and I hope we will see good performances," said International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat, who was present at the game.
"The future of Test cricket must be supported and I am encouraged by the positive signs of recovery we see in Zimbabwe. It is incumbent on the entire cricket community to work together to promote Test cricket.
"Much has been done to improve cricket in Zimbabwe, especially in the past two years. In order to maintain a competitive Test team, there needs to be a robust first-class structure that develops players. Zimbabwe's domestic system has been revamped and now needs to be nurtured and maintained.
"There is still a long way to go before Zimbabwe can compete consistently with the very best Test nations in the world, but this is a good start. I wish them well against Bangladesh and hope they develop to play a full Test series - home and away - against the top sides in the future."
Tino Mawoyo (43), one of four Test debutants for the hosts, and Vusi Sibanda added 102 for the first wicket before the former was caught off seamer Rubel Hossain.
Sibanda had a modest record of 48 runs from six innings in his three previous Tests, but had forged his way to 78 when he became Rubel's second victim.
But Hamilton Masakadza (88 not out) and new captain Brendan Taylor (40 not out) remained unbeaten for the rest of the day as the tourists toiled.