Brendan Taylor asks Zimbabwe bowlers to 'fight hard'

After scoring a century against Bangladesh, the host side's captain feels the final-day pitch is still firm, making it harder for his side to win.

HARARE // Brendan Taylor, the Zimbabwe captain, scored an unbeaten 105 before Bangladesh were restricted to 112 for three at the Harare Sports Club on Sunday, still needing another 263 runs to win the one-off Test match.

Taylor declared his team's second innings on 291 for five - after resuming at 92 for four - for an overall lead of 374 which left the tourists to face 30 overs before stumps on the fourth day.

Bangladesh's openers Imrul Kayes (31) and Tamim Iqbal (43) began well, putting on 64 for the first wicket.

But Tamim, having hit seven boundaries, was dismissed when he left a ball from Chris Mpofu which moved back and took off the bails. Kayes was then caught behind by Tatenda Taibu off Kyle Jarvis with the total on 87.

Shahriar Nafees, who made 50 in the first innings, was the third man out, clean bowled by Jarvis with the total on 102.

However, the experienced pair of Mohammad Ashraful - who scored 73 in the first innings, and reached 19 by stumps on Sunday - and Mushfiqur Rahim, with six, steadied the ship as Bangladesh suffered no further alarms ahead of Monday's final day.

The Test, Zimbabwe's first after a six-year, self-imposed exile, had swung decisively in Zimbabwe's favour due to some dedicated and well-planned batting by Taylor, Taibu (59) and Craig Ervine (35 not out).

Taylor, who had hit 71 in the first innings, moved carefully on from his overnight five runs.

"I wasn't thinking about the hundred too much, I hit a couple of boundaries around the 70s and then I started to think I could get it," the 25-year-old Taylor said. "We needed as much time as we wanted to get these guys out. This wicket will not change much on day five. We have got to fight hard for these wickets."

Published: August 8, 2011 04:00 AM