New Zealand’s inspired bowlers wrecked Bangladesh’s hopes of survival in the first cricket Test on Sunday, setting up a comfortable nine-wicket win with two days to spare.
Bangladesh started the day at a confident 148 without loss in their second innings, but within two sessions the game was over.
New Zealand knocked off all 10 wickets for 106 runs to have the tourists all out for 254, and then cruised to the 35-run target for victory for the loss of one wicket.
First-innings centurion Matthew Bell, recalled to the Test arena for the first time since 2001, was unbeaten on 20 while Peter Fulton ended the game with a six to be not out 15.
On an easy wicket, neither of Bangladesh’s Test debutant openers, Tamim Iqbal and Junaid Siddique, were able to convert their strong start to the second innings into maiden centuries.
Tamim added 12 runs in the morning before being bowled by Kyle Mills for 84 and in the next over Junaid followed the 18-year-old back to the pavilion for 74 when he edged Chris Martin into the hands of Stephen Fleming at first slip.
Together they had established a record 161-run opening partnership for Bangladesh, which was to be one of the few highlights the visitors could take from the Test.
Their other significant achievement was to make New Zealand bat again for the first time in five Tests between the two countries, even if the target was minimal.
With the openers gone, Jacob Oram snared Habibul Bashar and Iain O’Brien followed with the wickets of Mohammad Ashraful and Aftab Ahmed to have Bangladesh reeling at 206-5 at lunch.
Ashraful, the Bangladesh danger man, reached 23 before giving away his wicket with a rash shot when he steered a wayward O’Brien delivery to Craig Cumming at point.
The collapse continued in the middle session as Daniel Vettori ripped through the tail to finish with4-70, including three LBW decisions.
Martin ended the innings when he dismissed Sajidul Island with the first delivery of the second new ball to have figures of 2-8 off 10 overs for the day after giving up 48 runs from 10 overs the previous day.
In New Zealand’s brief chase for 35 runs to win, Cumming went lbw to Mashrafe Mortaza for four after making only one run in the first innings.
The second and final Test starts at Wellington’s Basin Reserve on Saturday. — AFP