Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Day belongs to Mominul, Tigers

Mominul Haque’s second hundred in as many Tests and a record partnership with Tamim Iqbal on Thursday put Bangladesh in a position to save the second Test against New Zealand with one day left at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. Bangladesh reached the end of day four on 269/3 in their second innings, leading New Zealand by 114 runs with one day left in the match and the visitors’ second innings to come.
Mominul finished the day unbeaten on 126 off 225 balls with 16 fours, becoming the second Bangladeshi batsman to hit centuries in back-to-back Tests. Tamim managed the feat against England at Lord’s and Old Trafford in 2010.
‘He has played very well so far,’ said New Zealand opener Peter Fulton of Mominul’s performance.
‘He was very patient today, left a lot of balls and when we did bowl him a bad ball, he hit it for four. Sometimes you have to take your hat off to the batters.’
Tamim contributed 70 off 218 deliveries in an unusually circumspect innings for the shot-playing left-hander, playing his way to his second fifty of the match after facing criticism for throwing his wicket away on 95 in the first innings.
Mominul came to crease with Bangladesh still trailing New Zealand by 100 runs at 55/2 in the first session of the day and looking vulnerable to collapse after Neil Wagner removed Anamul Haque and Marshall Ayub in quick succession.
The diminutive 22-year-old, playing in just his fifth Test, proceeded to steady the ship and put together a 157-run partnership with Tamim Iqbal – a record third-wicket stand for Bangladesh, besting the 137 put on by Javed Omar and Mohammad Ashraful against Pakistan in Peshawar in 2003.
The partnership was finally broken after a sharp reflex catch at slip by Ross Taylor off the bowling of Kane Williamson ended Tamim’s 304-minute stay at the crease, but by then Bangladesh were well into the final session and in position to hold on for a draw that had seemed unlikely in the morning.
An unbeaten 57-run partnership between Mominul and Sakib al Hasan (32 off 53) took Bangladesh to the close of play on a day which undoubtedly belonged to them.
The day began with New Zealand’s ninth wicket pair of BJ Watling and Ish Sodhi, both already on half-centuries, at the crease trying to add to the misery they inflicted upon the Tigers in the final session on day three.
Instead, the Black Caps added just 18 more runs to their overnight total of 419/8, as Sodhi was run out by Mominul for 58 and Trent Boult was trapped lbw by Abdur Razzak soon after to leave Watling stranded on 70 and New Zealand with 437 runs and a 155-run first-innings lead.
New Zealand’s position grew even stronger when Neil Wagner came on to bowl in the 11th over and picked up where he left off in the first innings, getting Anamul Haque (22 off 26) to edge his very first delivery to Peter Fulton at slip, adding further strife to the Bangladeshi opener’s forgettable series.
Marshall Ayub suffered the same fate just four overs later when he fished for a full-delivery outside off and edged it to Ross Taylor in the slips, giving Wagner his second of the innings and bringing Mominul out to join Tamim in the middle.
The pair would bat together for most of the day, with the normally aggressive Tamim deferring to his younger team-mate and scoring at a strike rate of under 33. Mominul, who was also battling a fever, scored 103 of the pair’s 157 before Kane Williamson finally broke through in the third session for a New Zealand attack that seldom seemed to trouble the pair.
‘I don’t think too much went wrong. We bowled reasonably well, [but] it was a pretty good batting wicket. A lot of the credit must go to the two batsmen. They played well,’ Fulton offered.
The Tigers will look to continue their strong performance with the bat in today’s opening session to put the match out of New Zealand’s reach and possibly even give themselves a chance to win it.

-With New Age input

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