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‘David-esque’ Bangla Tigers keep ‘Goliath’ Blackcaps at bay on day three

Monday 3 January 2022 | Written by Rahul Patil | Published in Cricket, Sports

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Day 3 - New Zealand 1st Innings 328 all out (Conway 122, Young 52, Nicholls 75, Shoriful 3/69, Mehidy 3/86,) vs Bangladesh 1st Innings 401/6 (Joy 70*, Shanto 64, Mominul 88, Das 86, Wagner 3/98, Boult 3/61). Report by Rahul Patil from the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui – NZ.

The Blackcaps started day 3 yesterday looking for early wickets and they had the perfect start when lion hearted Neil Wagner dismissed Mahmudul Joy and picked up his 3rd wicket of the innings. Joy who was rock solid all day on Saturday looked really loose yesterday morning. He tried to cut a short one from Wagner but didn’t manage to keep it down and Henry Nicholls at gully took a sharp chance. Joy added only 8 more to his day one score to be dismissed for a very crucial 78. With the new ball due in 10 overs it was an important breakthrough. Captain Mominul was then joined by Bangladesh’s most experienced batter Mushfiqur Rahim and they both survived some nervous moments against some quality bowling by Wagner & Jameison. 

The last over before the new ball was due saw some real drama. After beating Mominul several times Wagner finally found the edge of his bat and keeper Tom Blundell took a spectacular diving catch. Mominul was on his way to the pavilion when the umpires asked him to wait as the TV umpire was checking Wagner’s front foot. After a long wait the 3rd umpire ruled it a no ball and Mominul walked back to the crease. The decision was a close one and could have gone either way depending on which side you supported.

New Zealand took the 2nd new ball as soon as it was available but they had to wait for 8 overs before they found any success with it. Mushfiqur who looked like he was settling into a good rhythm had a lapse in concentration and missed a straight from Boult who was bowling round the wicket. Mushfiqur looked visibly disappointed with himself for throwing it away after staying at the crease for 53 deliveries for his 12.

The naturally aggressive Liton Das was the next man in for Bangladesh and he began his innings with a couple of well-timed shots to the fence. Bangladesh reached 220 for 4 at lunch. The session saw a mere 45 runs being scored for the loss of 2 wickets but it was an absorbing session of classic test match cricket. Bangladesh would be disappointed with their shot execution. The Blackcaps on the other hand would be happy picking up 2 wickets for 45 but would also be thinking about the wicket of Mominul of the no ball.

The first hour after lunch saw a flurry of boundaries and Bangladesh added a further 61 runs to their total without much fuss. Das in particular was severe on anything that was too full or too short. Mominul too found his touch and played some lovely drives of the front through the off side. The blackcaps toiled hard but without much luck. There were a number of play and misses, the edges falling short or finding gaps and just generally the rub of the green went against them. They had nowbeen in the field for more than a day, started to feel the heat and lost the control they had in the first session.

The remainder of the session saw Mominul bring up his 50, followed by the Bangladesh 300, the 100 run partnership between Mominul and Das and capped off by Das reaching his own 50. Bangladesh moved along to 307/4 at Tea on day 3. The batters retreated to the pavilion for a well-earned cup of tea whereas the bowlers went looking for some answers.

But they didn’t find any answers to the application showed by the Mominul & Das after the tea break either. Both batters kept leaving or defending the good balls and made sure to put the bad ones to the boundary. Bangladesh took the lead over New Zealand’s first innings score of 328 in the 125th over of their innings. 

The Mominul Das partnership was worth 158 when Boult finally provided the breakthrough. He got one to jag bag at Mominul, beat the inside edge of his bat and struck him plumb in front of the wickets. Mominul reviewed the on field umpire’s decision but the 3rd umpire confirmed that he was out and a dejected Mominul made the long walk back dismissed for 88.

There is a saying in cricket that one wicket brings two and it proved to be true today as Liton Das soon followed his captain back to the pavilion when he tried to smash a wide one from Boult only to edge it to Blundell who gleefully accepted the catch. Das made 86 and like Mominul missed out on a well-deserved century.

Yasir Ali and Mehidy Hasan Miraz then made sure that Bangladesh made it to stumps without any further damage. Bangladesh finished the day on 401/6, a lead of 73 over New Zealand and will look to further drive home the advantage today morning. Having been in the field for 156 overs the Blackcaps will be hoping to wrap up the Bangladesh innings early today, put their feet up and let their batters bring them back into this game on a road of a pitch that isn’t offering the bowlers anything.