Bangladesh 289 All Out (Soumya Sarkar 86, Shakib Al Hasan 59, Nurul Hasan 47, Tim Southee 5/ 94, Tim Boult 4/ 87 ) , New Zealand 260/7 ( Ross Taylor 77, Tom Latham 68, Nichols 56 , Shakib 3/32 )
Brilliant disciplined bowling by all 5 Bangladesh bowlers kept Bangladesh well in the test at Christchurch till stumps on the second day. New Zealand (260/7) with three wickets at hand is still trailing by 29 runs. The play was called off 19 overs early than scheduled due to rain and bad weather. But before that ace all-rounder, Shakib dealt three deadly blows to tilt the balance in favor of Bangladesh. Bangladesh could be very well batting on the day in their second had the Bangladeshi fielders accepted all the catches which came their way. 19 overs left on the day could still see Bangladesh appearing for the second innings.
The day was cool and strong breeze was blowing. The condition was bowler friendly. All Bangladesh bowlers Taskin, Shakib, Rabbi, Miraj and Rubel bowled well sometimes individually and at times in pair. These never allowed Kiwi Batsmen taking much liberty. With only Nicholls and the tail at the wicket, Kiwis may not take a large lead if Bangladesh can keep their tempo early on next morning. The fate of the match is delicately poised.
Like first test, Mehedi Maruf started the bowling with Taskin. Learning lessons from Wellington test they were pitching up and created early pressure on Kiwi openers. Miraj was having a nice drift. Taskin was moving at pace. Both the batsman was dropped in the slip. First Raval by Mahmudullah off Miraj and then Latham by Shabbir off Taskin. If accepted Bangladesh could put pressure on middle order early on. However, Rabbi coming to the attack dealt double blow removing Raval and Williamson in the same over. Taylor and Latham living charmed life survived till lunch. Bangladeshi bowlers for a while after lunch for a while bowled too short letting Kiwi batsmen batting freely. Runs started coming thick and fast. 106 runs were added for the third wicket at 4.41 put Bangladesh on the back foot. However, brilliant bowling effort of Taskin was crowned with the wicket of Latham caught behind. But not before he scored a very useful 68. Bangladeshi bowlers soon rediscovered their length and line again. Taylor was again dropped by Rabbi of the bowling of Miraj. Taskin and Miraj bowled proving overs. Miraj finally got rid of dangerous looking Taylor caught driving. But that decision had to be earned by DRS. After tea Rubel tested Nicholls and Santner with aggressive bowling. Miraj kept teasing Kiwis with brilliant loop and drift. Edges were dropping short or Bangladesh captain set fielding wrong to back his bowlers. When Kiwis were looking good for marching ahead Shakib coming to attack in his second spell struck three deadly blows removing Santner, Grandhomme, and Watling in the wink of an eye. New Zealand had slid from 252 for 4 to 260 for 7. If Rain did not come perhaps Bangladesh could wrap up Kiwi Innings in that momentum. New Zealand cannot say they have their nose ahead. The first half an hour on the third morning will indicate which way the match would be heading.
Taskin, Rubel, and Rabbi bowled some proving spells. Miraj was always threatening. Shakib showed the value of world class allrounder. He is well set for another 5 wickets innings when play resumes tomorrow.
Going back to the days play one must note that Bangladesh bowling in unfamiliar condition was commendable. All 5 bowlers bowled brilliant spells. If Only fielding and field setting could be better New Zealand could be in a more challenging situation. Tamim will learn with experience that his only option was to back his bowlers with smart aggressive fielding for getting wickets. We hope overnight he will have better advice from team management. Bangladesh cannot afford to let the match drift out of their grasp. The first job is picking three remaining wickets as soon as possible and then bat well for a 350 -400-second innings. Senior batsmen Tamim, Mahmudullah, and Shakib must lead the way.
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