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New Zealand in Bangladesh, 2008


Shakib put New Zealand in a spin

18 October 2008

Left arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan spun a web around fragile New Zealand batting line up and grabbed career best six wickets for 31 runs to put Bangladesh on top at the end of the 2nd day of the first Test match at Divisional Stadium in Chittagong today. New Zealand finished the day on 155-9 trailing Bangladesh's first innings total by 90 runs.

Bangladesh spinners stifled Kiwi batsmen right from the word go and wrecked through the top order to establish Bangladesh's commanding position after the hosts were bundled out for 245 from a strong position of 183 for 4. Kiwi skipper Daniel Vettori continued his domination over Bangladesh and bagged another five-for to restrict Bangladesh to a relatively low score.

Bangladesh new ball duo Mashrafe Mortaza and Shahadat Hossain kept things tight and made scoring difficult for New Zealand openers Aaron Redmond and Jamie How. However, it was not until the arrival of Shakib Al Hasan, the pendulum of the match started to sway towards Bangladesh. Shakib first removed Jamie How in the 5th ball of his 2nd over and returned to pick the debutant Jesse Ryder in the very first delivery of his next over. On both occasions Shakib deceived the batsmen with variation in his angle and pace of the deliveries.

Shakib Al Hasan
Shakib Al Hasan grabbed 6-31 to put Bangladesh in command after day 2 of the first Test
After the loss of two quick wickets New Zealand went into the shell and concentrated to keep the wickets intact, but there was no respite from the Bangladeshi spinners as Razzak attacked from the other end. Razzak trapped Ross Taylor plumb in front with a quicker delivery to reduce New Zealand to 46 for 3. Shakib continued to dominate Kiwi batters and picked his third wicket by trapping the struggling opener Aaron Redmond right in front.

At this point Kiwi wicketkeeper Brendan McCullum launched a rescue act with Damien Flynn and played positively to take the tourists to 99 for 4. Bangladesh skipper Mohammad Ashraful kept Shakib at one end and intelligently rotated his bowlers from the other end. His tactics immediately paid off as debutant Naeem Islam became the first Bangladesh bowler to pick up a Test scalp in the first over of his career. After conceding 7 runs from his first 4 deliveries, Naeem bowled his 5th ball with a flatter trajectory and Daniel Flynn obliged with a healthy edge to wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim while trying to cut.

The wicket of Flynn initiated a middle order collapse as none other than Shakib Al Hasan picked two prize scalps in the same over. First he bamboozled McCullum with a slower delivery and then removed danger man Jacob Oram with a spinning one. McCullum's one handed scoop found Razzak in the mid-on while Oram's miscued effort could only reach Mashrafe Mortaza on the other side of the wicket.

New Zealand at that stage were on the brink of collapse and reeling at 100 for 7, but Daniel Vettori transformed his fine form with ball into bat and shared crucial 26 and 29 run partnership in 8th and 9th wicket respectively to lift New Zealand to 155 for 9 at the end of the play.

Shakib lead the bowlers from the front and made another crucial breakthrough by removing Kyle Mills to break the threatening 8th wicket partnership, however it was Mohammad Ashraful who produced a late drama to cap Bangladesh's fine performance when he picked Jeetan Patel in the last over of the match.

The match will probably see a result after the sub-per batting display from both teams on a deteriorating wicket. New Zealand will resume tomorrow, with Skipper Vettori on 48, to cut the lead of Bangladesh and Bangladesh will be charging with all guns blazing in search for a historic Test victory against a top cricket nation.

Khondaker Mirazur Rahman


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