Batting first, Zimbabwe recovered from the loss of early wickets as Ervine struck a patient 107, featuring 13 fours, to propel his side to 228 runs for the loss of six wickets at stumps on day one
Makeshift Zimbabwe captain Craig Ervine said they were surprised to find a good wicket at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka as the lone Test match got underway Saturday.
Batting first, Zimbabwe recovered from the loss of early wickets as Ervine struck a patient 107, featuring 13 fours, to propel his side to 228 runs for the loss of six wickets at stumps on day one.
Ervine, who registered his third Test century, also credited Bangladesh bowlers for maintaining good line and length, which was backed by tight fielding, but he negotiated all that by using the reverse sweep as his plan B.
Bangladesh’s decision of not having a typical spinning track was driven from a new police – to get the pacers enough experience on sporting wickets so that they are not lost when playing Tests away from home.
“We were very surprised as the wicket was really good. Generally in Dhaka, people say you can’t expect what will happen. That’s why Bangladesh are little bit ahead. It was such a good wicket. We probably lost two to three wickets more,” said Ervine at the post-day press conference.
“I tried to use my reverse sweep. Because I felt that they are very consistent in their areas. So if you don’t have plan B to get off the strike, it’s a very long day for you. You need to have a few backup shots to try to keep the scoreboard ticking,” he informed.
The hundred was doubly special for Ervine, captaining Zimbabwe for the first time in the absence of regular skipper Sean Williams, who opted out of the game citing personal reasons.
“The goodness of the wicket allows me to try playing these shots. But I tried to strict to my strength. Just try to rotate and manipulate the field. They had some good fields that tightened and made difficult to rotate the strike. So just try to be patient and wait for opportunity to score,” said Ervine.
“Any hundred away from home is special. In the past, I always struggled a bit in Bangladesh. To be able to score a hundred, it is always charming,” he added.
Ervine became the sixth Zimbabwe wicket to fall on the day, and it came at a crucial time.
Bangladesh off-spinner Nayeem Hasan cleaned up Ervine in the second last over of the day to give the home side some hope of staging a comeback early on day two.
However, Ervine hoped Zimbabwe would drive home their advantage when they resume the day’s proceedings.