Themorningbellbd.com desk, January 20: Tim Southee and Trent Boult shared nine wickets as New Zealand bowled Bangladesh out for 289, pegging the visitors back after a 127-run third-wicket stand between Soumya Sarkar and Shakib Al Hasan had threatened to set up a big first-innings total on a flat Hagley Oval surface. The Sarkar-Shakib stand, rattling along at 4.98 per over, had moved Bangladesh to 165 for 2 in the 36th over of their innings before Boult and Southee turned the day around with three wickets in the space of 16 balls.
The pace and texture of the day was transformed. The last five Bangladesh wickets stretched the innings out by a further 46 overs, during which time they scored 110 runs, with the lower order – particularly the debutants Nurul Hasan and Nazmul Hossain Shanto, who added 53 for the sixth wicket – batting resolutely and New Zealand helping them along with some puzzling tactics. Kane Williamson, their captain, did not use their specialist spinner Mitchell Santner all day, and got his quicks to pepper the lower order with incessant short balls, not changing tack even after taking the second new ball.
The short ball dismissed Nazmul, Taskin Ahmed and Nurul, but by no means swiftly, and dealt the No. 11 Rubel Hossain a jarring blow to the elbow, but it was hard not to wonder if the fast bowlers wouldn’t have been better served bowling a good length and looking for some swing. It was via this method that Southee ended Bangladesh’s innings with his fifth wicket, pinging Kamrul Islam Rabbi’s back pad in front of middle and off stump with late away-swing from a good length. Kamrul faced 63 balls to score 2, and added 32 for the last two wickets – in 18 overs – with Nurul and Rubel.