An unbeaten 70 by Mahmudul Hasan Joy, backed by 64 from Najman Hossain Shanto, put Bangladesh in a strong position at stumps on day two of the first Test against New Zealand at Mount Maunganui on Sunday.
The tourists were 175 for two at the close of play, trailing New Zealand by 153 with eight wickets in hand and the pitch playing good for batting.
It was only the third innings in Tests for the 21-year-old Joy, who was dismissed for nought and six in his one previous outing against Pakistan last month.
But he played with plenty of maturity on a day that belonged to the tourists, facing 211 deliveries for his unbeaten 70 and forging a 104-run partnership with 23-year-old Shanto which impressed New Zealand’s only successful bowler Neil Wagner.
“The younger guys that played today played phenomenally,” Wagner said. “They played quite patiently, they didn’t give many opportunities and they sort of hung in there.
“When the ball was there to score, they scored and when we looked like trying to get them out they left well and defended well.”
But Wagner said the Test outcome was still far from clear with three days remaining.
“There’s still a lot of cricket left and that’s the beauty of Test cricket going five days.
“The wicket might take turn but also create opportunities later down the track if those cracks do come into play.”
New Zealand resumed the second morning at 258 for five and were all out before lunch for 328, their lowest score on a home wicket in nine Tests against Bangladesh.
Bangladesh then enjoyed ideal batting conditions as they made a solid reply.
- Free-flowing shots -
They survived several near misses early in a test of concentration, but what began as a fight to survive gave way to an abundance of free-flowing shots by Shanto and Joy.
They put on 104 for the second wicket with Shanto bringing up his 50 with a huge six over the long-leg boundary.
He then played an audacious one-day stroke when he stepped away from a short Neil Wagner delivery, exposing all three stumps, and guided the ball past the close-catching cordon for four.
Wagner proved the most dangerous of the New Zealand bowlers and claimed the wicket of opener Shadman Islam for 22 with a diving catch after a low full toss was chipped back.
He then saw off Shanto with a succession of short deliveries before pitching up an outswinger which the batsman edged to Will Young in the gully.
He had struck Shanto on the body with his first ball to the new batsman and, when Joy was on 20, was frustrated by having an appeal for lbw turned down.
New Zealand decided not to review and ball-tracking technology indicated the ball would have hit the stumps.
New Zealand, having made a promising start to be 139 for one on day one, fell apart on the second morning to be all out for 328 with only last man out Henry Nicholls (75) showing any resistance as the Bangladesh spinners did the damage.
Mehidy Hasan took three for three in the space of 21 deliveries while Mominul, a part-time spinner, removed Nicholls to go with the dismissal of Conway to lift his total career scalps to six in 48 Tests.
Of the recognised bowlers, Shoriful Islam finished with three for 69 and Mehidy took three for 86.
(Report by AFP)
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