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The wait is finally over

By Haroon Habib



ON CLOUD NINE: Bangladesh players celebrate the nation's first ever Test victory on Monday. — AP

DHAKA, JAN. 10. Bangladesh made history when it defeated Zimbabwe by 226 runs on the final day of the first Test here on Monday to post its first ever Test win.

The cricket minnows achieved their maiden Test success in their 35th attempt since being granted ICC Test status in 2000. Bangladesh sealed victory just before tea as Enamul Haque took six for 45 from 22.2 overs to dismiss Zimbabwe for 154 in its second innings.

Bangladesh had managed three draws in its previous matches — two of them against Zimbabwe and one against West Indies. Two of those encounters, however, were badly affected by rain.

Zimbabwe was playing in its first match since having its Test status suspended in June last year for allegedly fielding a weakened team after a dispute between the board and a group of leading players.

Resuming on 46 for three and chasing a stiff target of 381, Zimbabwe was bowled out for 154 after the interval. Earlier, Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza delayed the inevitable. Their partnership was finally ended when Taylor was trapped leg before by Haque for 44 with the score on 112.

Haque struck again when he removed first innings hero Tatenda Taibu for a duck. The Zimbabwe captain was caught at short-leg by Aftab Ahmed. The slow left-armer completed his fine morning's work by ending Masakadza's brave resistance. Haque took a fine return catch to dismiss Masakadza for 54 to reduce Zimbabwe to 126 for six.

AP adds:

As soon as Bangladesh wrapped up the match, captain Habibul Bashar led the players around the field on a lap of honour, waving Bangladesh's flag.

Many of about 12,000 fans left the galleries and ran into the field to hug the proud players.

"It is the brightest day that has ever come in my life," said an exuberant Bashar. "I'll cherish this day as long as I live and play."

Outside the stadium, thousands of revellers poured into the streets beating drums and spraying flower petals as many joyously hugged each other.

"This is a long dream come true," said college student Afzal Hossain as he led dozens of fans through central Chittagong. "Let the world know that we can also win a Test match."

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