The young spinner went a long way towards covering for the absence of banned all-rounder Shakib al Hasan by bagging four crucial wickets for the Tigers, including that of stand-in Zimbabwe captain Craig Ervine in the second last over of the innings
Off-spinner Nayeem Hasan was the highlight for Bangladesh on day one of the ongoing Test match against Zimbabwe at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka.
The young spinner went a long way towards covering for the absence of banned all-rounder Shakib al Hasan by bagging four crucial wickets for the Tigers, including that of stand-in Zimbabwe captain Craig Ervine in the second last over of the innings.
Nayeem bowled out Ervine after he had scored 107 to swing the momentum back to Bangladesh at stumps.
In addition to picking up the four wickets, Nayeem only conceded 68 runs while untiringly bowling 36 overs.
The groundsmen in Mirpur created a wicket with more carry and less help for the spinners than usual, but the 19-year-old Nayeem lived up to the challenge.
Despite less turn from the pitch than usual, he showed good variations in pace, bounce, line and length to keep the Zimbabwe batsmen guessing.
Addressing the media after the day’s play, Nayeem hinted that he still needs to learn how to speak in public as he could hardly explain what he had done.
“My plan was to bowl at a certain area,” were the words from Nayeem when asked to explain his plan.
Nayeem’s first wicket of the day was that of opener Prince Masvaure on 64, breaking a 111 run stand for the second wicket with Ervine at the other end.
Two overs later, Nayeem removed the experienced Brendan Taylor when he was on 10, before getting the wicket of Sikanadar Raza when he was on 18 to leave Zimbabwe reeling on 174/4 in 70.1 overs.
The off-spinner’s fourth scalp was that of centurion Ervine.
Nayeem, who has come into the game on the back of 21 wickets in two matches for Islami Bank East Zone in the Bangladesh Cricket League, believes bowling long spells in first-class cricket has helped him in his performance for Bangladesh on the first day of the game.
“I have picked up this habit [of bowling long spells] from the National League [first-class cricket tournament]. I have bowled long spells there and learned that bowling in one area can get you success,” said Nayeem.
“At the end of the day, my main intention was to get wickets quickly. It is better for us the earlier they are all-out. They now only have tail-enders. We aim to remove them as early as possible [today],” he added.