Overview of the third day of New Zealand vs Bangladesh Wellington test at Basin Reserve.
A brilliant unbeaten 119 by Tom Latham, a very rare feat by a Kiwi opener at Basin reserve was the feature of the third day of the first test between New Zealand and Bangladesh. The visitors batting for an hour on the third morning declared at 595/8 thanks to a quickfire unbeaten 54 by flamboyant Sabbir Rahman. When stumps were drawn due to poor light home team was 292/3 still 303 runs behind.
Only two New Zealand openers scored centuries in the last 58 tests at Basin Reserve. Both home openers – Stewie Dempster and Jackie Mills achieved it in the first ever test at the venue in 1930.After that only John Wright scored century before Latham.
His was a measured innings of solid defense and careful aggression. Neat deflections, cuts and flicks were the feature of his innings with 83 of his accumulated runs came from behind the wicket. He held the Kiwi innings together though two seasoned campaigners Kane Williams and Ross Taylor failed to convert their good start to something something substantial.
Bangladesh continued batting this morning for an hour and through courtesy of aggressive batting of Shabbir added another 53 runs before declaring. 595/8 is only second highest to 638 that Bangladesh scored at Galle in 2012 -13 against Sri Lanka. Five Bangladeshis Shakib, Mushfique, Mominul, Tamim and Shabbir made 50 or more. Only at Mirpur Dhaka in 2012-13 Bangladesh achieved this against West Indies in test before.
Bangladesh defense got an early blow as captain Mushfique could not take field for finger and thumb injury he suffered during his epic innings of 159 day before. Imrul Kayes donned the gloves for him and his deputy Tamim Iqbal led the side. A history was created in Basin Reserve when instead of pacers taking the new ball young off spinner Mehedi Miraj was entrusted with the task. He could have early success if matching with the initiative of starting with a spinner he was given an attacking field. Miraj could induce an outside edge of Jeet Raval early on which flew through what could be an easy catch for second slip. Debutant Subhashish also had a probing first spell. Other debutant Taskin could get an wicket at his very first over but when Shabbir spilled an easy catch in the slip. Kamrul Rabbi however got the breakthrough with the first ball of his first over making Raval poke behind the wicket.
The wicket however became dry and fast with two days’ sun. It also became a bit quicker making stroke making a bit easier. Inexperienced Bangladesh attack well within themselves. But rookie pacer Shubhasih looking impressive in his fast spell had to adjust his run and cut down his pace a bit after being warned for running into danger zone in follow through. Still then on a wicket where vastly experienced Kiwi bowlers struggled Bangladesh bowlers did not allow home batsmen take liberty. However, the reason for under using Bangladesh most potent weapon and the most experienced Shakib was not understood. He only bowled 7 of the 77 overs.
All three New Zealand wickets fell to exceptionally good deliveries two of them to Kamrul Rabbi and one to Taskin. Latham with 119 and Nichols on 35 were at the wickets when stumps were drawn early with home still 303 runs behind. The wicket indicated marginal wear or tear to create any issue even on fourth day. However, if Bangladeshi bowlers can still make some early inroads into Kiwi batting they can force the issue.
Two days 6 sessions are still left. In cricket, smart persons never make predictions. High scoring draw is a possibility. But a positive result is still possible.
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