New Zealand Vs Bangladesh 1st Test at Basin Reserve, Wellington, New Zealand from 12-16 January 2017.
Remaining comfortably ahead in two horses’ derby for three-quarter of a test Bangladesh lost the historic test against New Zealand by 7 wickets. In the match, several individual and test records were created. But most unfancied one was created by Bangladesh being the first team losing a test after scoring 595/9 in the first innings. Australia in 1994-95 lost to England in the timeless test after scoring 586in in the first innings.
Lot were told before the test about wicket, condition and lack of playing test abroad and longer version quality cricket at home about Bangladesh. Many thought looking at the grassy hard bouncy Basin Reserve wicket that Bangladesh would be blown away in three days at most. But that Bangladesh survived. Batted wonderfully well in the first innings over 2 days and half of a session declaring at 595/9 . The vastly inexperienced attack – four of the five men attack had played only 4 tests and two were debutants. Bangladesh managed to make home team all out for 539 runs gaining a lead of 56 runs. By then 3 days and three quarter of a day were spent. Despite of some poor strokes of leading players Tamim and Mahmudullah Bangladesh at the end of day four was 122 runs ahead with 6 second innings wickets at hand. Off course Mushfique and Kayes were not fit to bat and would not have batted if there not required.
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) January 16, 2017
Bangladesh got back to its known minnow shape on day five. Shakib on whom rested a lot played a highly irresponsible stroke and Bangladesh started sliding. Mominul was also gone. Half fit Mushfique braved his injury and struggled with Shabbir for a long time. New Zealand bowlers were testing him with a barrage of short balls. He was batting almost one handed. But failing to duck a ball from Southee he had a deadly blow on his head. He was taken to hospital almost unconscious. But thank God major damage was not done. Shabbir kept ploughing in the sand for a while. Even Kayes who could hardly walk came to bat. Bangladesh could reach 160 all out taking a lead of 216. With enough time left New Zealand reached the target losing 3 wickets.
One of the leading Bangladeshi cricket reporters wrote in FB “Bangladesh won few battles but lost the war.” People will not remember few personal milestones that Bangladesh achieved like Shakib scoring highest score 217 of Bangladesh, he and Mushfique scoring a huge 359 run fifth wicket partnership, Bangladesh gained vital 56 runs first wicket lead. But people will remember Bangladesh rewriting the history of losing test even after scoring 595 in the first innings.
In my opinion, the careless score of Shakib playing adventurous stroke before having his eye in and Shabbir losing his head after batting brilliantly were the turning points. If Bangladesh could bat an hour more only adding another 30 runs the match could be drawn. It was not beyond their capacity.
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) January 16, 2017
Credit must go to New Zealand. Their top-quality pace attack was brilliantly handled by Bangladesh in a testing condition in the first innings. Still, their batting did not fall apart. They re-assessed the bowling scrutinizing the strength and weakness of Bangladesh batting. Only half fit Mushfique and Shabbir could withstand the onslaught for a long time. The pair could have saved the match if unfortunately, Mushfique was not injured at a critical stage.
I won’t say inexperienced Bangladesh attack bowled badly in the first innings. Few catches were dropped which mattered. Kayes deputizing for Mushfique took a record 5 catches. Shakib bowled only a few overs on the third day possibly for fatigue. Miraj bowled well in both innings but for fielding, lapses could not more effective.
End of the day lack of experience of playing test cricket and quality longer version cricket evidenced. Players got fatigued and weird out. Kayes in his unfamiliar role of keeping wickets for a long time got injured while batting in the second innings clearly from fatigue. Mushfique also possibly had fatigue playing a long innings after recovering from a hamstring injury. But credit must go to them for braving the injury.
Mushfique and Kayes both were stretchered out, taken to the hospital. By the grace of God both are out of danger.
Test cricket is played over 15 sessions in the five days. A team dominated 12 sessions may still lose for an exceptionally bad session. New Zealand is a seasoned campaigner. Kane Williams is great batsmen, great Cricketer. He knows how to win matches for his team batting responsibly. His 89 balls unbeaten century is amongst the fastest in the fourth innings of a test.
Bangladesh has some good cricketers but no great cricketer yet. That is why Bangladesh does not have match winners who can win test matches abroad. Even in the final innings, Miraj created pressure taking two quick wickets early on. But Kane Williamson did not panic. He carried his team across with an unbeaten century.
Bangladesh goes to Hagley Oval Christchurch with the potential for a comprehensive whitewash of all formats. They must take heart from so many positives. Soumya may get in in place of unfit Kayes. We are not sure whether it would be worth risking Mushfique. But bowling options need reviewing. All the bowlers bowled little too short. Hagley Oval wicket may be different.
Well, only fools dreamt of beating New Zealand. Bangladesh did well to extend the match to the last session of the last day. Possibly they did not deserve to lose. Possibly they deserved a draw. Hope senior players would take a leaf out of Kane Williams how to bat for the team’s cause.
Image: Twitter page of Blackcaps
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