HARARE (AFP) - Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor declared at the tea break on Sunday, setting Bangladesh a target of 375 runs to win the one-off Test at Harare Sports Club here on Sunday.
Taylor declared just after he scored his maiden Test century, an undefeated 105 which included nine fours and proved to be a real game of two halves -- he needed 117 balls to achieve his half century and another 53 balls to reach the 100 mark.
After a steady partnership with former skipper Tatenda Taibu, who struck 59, Taylor's innings has put the hosts within sight of making a winning return to test cricket after an enforced six year absence.
Zimbabwe, opening the day on 92-4, closed their innings on 291-5, a lead over Bangladesh of 374. From a precarious position at the start of the day, Zimbabwe lost only one wicket in two sessions, enabling Taylor to take this rather bold decision.
Taibu's contribution was immense in the circumstances and Craig Ervine also came good with 35 not out, which probably saved his place in the team.
Shakib Al Hassan persisted with spin in the main through the day but they were getting little turn and bounce. The wicket has remained in good condition for a fourth day.
Zimbabwe's previous declaration was in 2005, also against Bangladesh at Harare by Taibu, who on that day scored 153, his best in Tests.