New Zealand sweep Bangladesh series

CHRISTCHURCH: New Zealand’s Jeet Raval (C) bats as Bangladesh wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan (L) and Taijul Islam (R) looks on, during day four of the second international Test cricket match between New Zealand and Bangladesh at Hagley Park Oval in Christchurch yesterday. — AFP

CHRISTCHURCH: A Bangladesh batting implosion saw New Zealand cruise to a comfortable nine wicket win in the second Test at Hagley Oval in Christchurch yesterday. Bangladesh were all out for 173 in their second innings, with the damage done when they lost five for 23 in the middle of the innings. New Zealand were left with a 109-run target which they knocked off in 18.4 overs to complete a rout of Bangladesh, winning all eight matches-three Twenty20s, three one-day internationals and two Tests-during the tour.

The Test sweep means New Zealand will overtake Pakistan and move to fifth on the world rankings. On a day of 14 dismissals on an easy wicket, New Zealand coasted home with Tom Latham unbeaten on 41 and Colin de Grandhomme on 33, effectively ending the Test in three days after Sunday’s third day was washed out. Bangladesh were 65 in arrears and in need of patience when they started their second innings before lunch. Instead, they showed their inexperience with the short ball and tried to hook and drive their way out of trouble. After 10 overs they went to lunch at 20 for one, by tea they were 100 for five and the end came 17 overs into the final session, boosted by a late slog from Taskin Ahmed and Kamrul Islam who put on 51 in 48 balls.

There had been a question mark over the Bangladesh line-up after Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mominul Haque, with 98 Tests between them, were kept out by injury. They cobbled together a makeshift side with seven players having three or fewer Tests to their name, and although the game was evenly poised after the first two days, the greenness of the wicket came to the fore after that. After the third day washout the sun returned on Monday and New Zealand took command. They resumed at 260 for seven and aided by sloppy fielding, their last three partnerships put on 94 with Henry Nicholls leading the way with a career best 98.

The innings was halted at 354 with an unusual run out of Neil Wagner for 26 after he had initially grounded his bat behind the crease. In the fleeting moment when wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan deflected the ball on to the stumps, Wagner was midstride with neither foot on the ground and he had momentarily lifted his bat. A bewildered Wagner took out his frustrations when Bangladesh went into bat taking three wickets for 44.

Tim Southee took three for 48 and Trent Boult three for 52. Bangladesh may have denied Nicholls a maiden century but they could not deny Southee becoming the fifth New Zealander to take 200 wickets on a list headed by Richard Hadlee with 417. Southee ignited the Bangladesh collapse with the early wicket of Tamim Iqbal when the stand-in captain hooked to Mitchell Santner waiting on the boundary. He reached the milestone with a short ball to Shakib Al Hasan that was steered to Colin de Grandhomme at point and wrapped up the innings with a short ball to Rubel Hossain that was edged to the wicketkeeper. Soumya Sarkar and Mahmudullah attempted to put backbone into the innings adding 41 for the second wicket until Soumya (36) smacked a wide de Grandhomme delivery to Raval at gully. Mahmudullah, on 38, dragged a wide Wagner delivery on to his stumps to start a slide in which Bangladesh fell from 92 for three to 115 for eight before the late burst from Taskin (33) and Kamrul who was 25 not out. — AFP

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