Sports desk, Jan 01: On the first day of New Year, Bangladesh enjoyed one of their best days in New Zealand as they reduced the hosts to 258-5 on day one of the first Test at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui today.
The Tigers still have to go a long way to make the start count in a country where they haven’t yet won any game in any format of cricket but the bowlers showed the early promise.
Devon Conway, with his first home century and second in just fourth Test, threatened to take the game away complete once Bangladesh put New Zealand into batting but the visitors clawed back in style thanks to their bowlers.
Shoriful Islam, in his just second Test was the best bowler for the side on day one, finishing with 2-53 while Ebadot Hossain and captain Mominul Haque took one wicket apiece. Shoriful gave Bangladesh the breakthrough in the fourth over, removing Tom Latham, who is leading the side in injury-forced absence of regular captain Kane Williamson, for 1.
But as has been the case always in the New Zealand tour, Bangladesh then lost the way. Will Young and Devon Conway, who scored a double century on his debut at Lord’s, put Bangladeshi bowlers on sword and rotated the scoreboard at faster pace. After they added 138-run for the second wicket, Bangladesh found success after Najmul Hossain Shanto inflicted a run-out on Young who made 52 off 135 with six fours.
Ross Taylor, who announced his retirement at the end of this cricket season, and Conway then kept New Zealand rolling, combining for a 50-run partnership for the third wicket. As the partnership looked dangerous, Shoriful broke through again and this time with the wicket of veteran Taylor after he scored 31.
Conway looked in supreme touch but he was surprisingly dismissed by occasional bowler Mominul Haque who actually tested his own luck after his frontline bowlers looked tired and failed to take the wicket of Conway.
To his credit, Mominul got one turning past Conway who edged it behind the wicket. Conway, who looked utterly disappointed with his dismissal made 122 off 227, hitting 16 fours and one six. Ebadot Hossain then dismissed Tom Blundell for 11 at the fag end of the day. At stumps Henry Nicholls was in the crease with 31 runs.