Zimbabwe shine on return to Test cricket in Harare

Only Test, Harare (day one):

Zimbabwe 264-2 v Bangladesh

Match scorecard

Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Peter Chingoka, Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor, ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat, Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan and Zimbabwe Cricket CEO Ozias Bvute

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat (centre) was present for Zimbabwe's historic return to Test cricket

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.

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

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat

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.

ZIMBABWE'S 2005 DECLINE

  • Zimbabwe lost their last six Tests in 2005 before bowing out of Test cricket - five by an innings (including two within two days of play) and one by 10 wickets

"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.