MOUNT MAUNGANUI: Mominul Haque and Liton Das led Bangladesh to a historic first innings lead over New Zealand in the first Test on Monday before both fell to Trent Boult in a dramatic final session.
At stumps on day three Bangladesh were 401 for six in reply to New Zealand’s 328, a lead of 73 with four wickets in hand.
They had reached 361 for four before Boult ended a 158-run stand with the wicket of Mominul for 88, followed 11 deliveries later by Liton for 86.
“They played really, really well. They made us come back and bowl spell after spell,” Boult told reporters. “The wicket is obviously a pretty good one, but we hung in there. I suppose the game did not advance too much. To get a couple of wickets in the end was nice.
“It looks like it might go down to the wire,” Boult added as the Bangladesh players left the field talking of extending their innings towards 500.
“The game’s pretty well poised. Test matches which have been played here have gone late into day five ... and probably we’ll be bowling last. I presume Bangladesh want to bat once and bat big and put a lot of pressure on us.”
In one of Bangladesh’s best-ever performances away from home, four of their top six batsmen registered half-centuries. It is the first time Bangladesh have taken a first-innings lead batting second outside of Asia.
Mehidy Hasan was batting on 20 at stumps with Yasir Ali on 11 after Bangladesh added 226 runs to their overnight score losing four wickets.
Overnight batsman Mahmudul Hasan (78) was the first of the four to fall after Bangladesh had resumed on 175-2 at the Bay Oval against the world Test champions. Neil Wagner got him caught at gully for his third wicket in the match.
Mominul capitalised on two reprieves early in his knock. First Kyle Jamieson spilled a return catch before Wagner was found to have bowled a no-ball after Mominul was caught behind.
Boult (3-61) bowled Mushfiqur Rahim for 12 but Mominul and Liton combined to deny New Zealand any success in the middle session.
Boult eventually dismissed Mominul lbw. The batsman reviewed the decision but it was upheld after replays confirmed the ball would have hit the middle stump.
Liton too fell short of his hundred, slashing at a Boult delivery outside the off-stump and offering an edge to wicketkeeper Tom Blundell.
“The boys really got stuck in,” Bangladesh batting coach Ashwell Prince said. “We had a good day yesterday but we had to follow it up with another good day and the guys did exactly that.
“There will be two or three guys disappointed that they didn’t go on and get three figures. But all in all we had some good partnerships and it was a very good day.”
NEW ZEALAND (1st innings) 328
BANGLADESH (1st innings; overnight 175-2):
Shadman Islam c and b Wagner 22
Mahmudul Hasan Joy c Nicholls b Wagner 78
Najmul Hossain Shanto c Young b Wagner 64
Mominul Haque lbw Boult 88
Mushfiqur Rahim b Boult 12
Liton Das c Blundell b Boult 86
Yasir Ali not out 11
Mehidy Hasan Miraz not out 20
EXTRAS (LB-7, NB-3, W-5, PEN-5) 20
TOTAL (for six wkts, 156 overs) 401
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-43 (Shadman), 2-147 (Shanto), 3-184 (Joy), 4-203 (Mushfiqur), 5-361 (Mominul), 6-370 (Das).
TO BAT: Taskin Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain, Shoriful Islam.
BOWLING: Southee 32-4-94-0 (1w), Boult 30-11-61-3, Jamieson 30-9-72-0 (3w), Wagner 38-9-98-3 (1w, 3nb), Ravindra 26-4-64-0.
Published in Dawn, January 4th, 2022