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7 January 2022

Latham’s double, Boult’s triple flattens Bangladesh

Sunday 9 January 2022 | Written by Rahul Patil | Published in Cricket, Sports

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Latham’s double, Boult’s triple flattens Bangladesh

Bangladesh needed to win all three sessions on day two to make a comeback into this test but instead Latham’s double hundred followed by Boult entering the 300 wicket club with a five wicket haul left them clutching at straws. Report by Rahul Patil from The Hagley Oval in Christchurch NZ.

Day 2- New Zealand 1st innings 521 for 6 declared (Latham 252, Young 54, Conway 109, Blundell 57*, Shoriful 2/79) vs Bangladesh 1st innings 126 all out (Yasir Ali 55, Nurul Hasan 41, Boult 5/43, Southee 3/28).

If you ever wondered about the value of a single run in cricket just ask Devon Conway who finished day one on 99 not out. He must have had a sleepless night being one run away from his third test hundred. But on the first ball of day two Ebadot Hossain gifted him a gentle half volley on his pads that Conway glanced to the fine leg boundary and raised his bat to soak in the applause of a sizeable Christchurch crowd. With three hundreds in five tests Conway has had a mind-blowing start to his test career. Having had to wait for a long time to make his test debut he definitely seems to be on a mission to make up for lost time.

Bangladesh desperately needed an early wicket this morning and it came via a brilliant piece of fielding by Mehidy Hasan. Tom Latham called Conway for a tight single and Hasan swooped in from cover in a flash, picked up the ball with one hand, hit the one stump that he could see and caught Conway short of his ground on 109.

Ross Taylor playing his last game for New Zealand in test whites walked in to a standing ovation from the Hagley Oval crowd. Displaying true sporting spirit and respect, the entire Bangladesh team welcomed him to the crease with a guard of honor. The two umpires too joined in the little gesture and amidst a competitive game of cricket it was a touching moment for all to savor.

Latham’s driving of both front and back foot in this innings has been exemplary, so it was only fitting that he brought up his double century with a superb cover drive played on the up. Taylor too quickly got into his stride with some signature cover drives and the pair soon brought up New Zealand’s 400.

Taylor continued to play his shots and after a few ugly play and misses he tried to hoick Hossain across the line only to inside edge it to square leg who took an easy catch. If New Zealand don’t bat again in this test this will be Taylor’s last innings in test whites. Dismissed for 28 it looked like the shot of a man whose had given his notice period and hence the mind was elsewhere.

Taylor’s wicket led to two more quick wickets. First Henry Nicholls inside edged one from Hossain to the keeper before opening his account. Then on what turned out to be the last ball before lunch Daryl Mitchell edged one to the keeper of Shoriful Islam and was promptly given out by the on field umpire. There was a clear noise too but for some reason Mitchell reviewed it. Ultra edge confirmed the edge and Mitchell had to walk back for 3 along with a wasted review. New Zealand who started the day on 349 for one reached lunch at 423 for 5 losing 4 wickets for 74 runs in a session that clearly belonged to Bangladesh.

Gloveman Blundell came to the crease after lunch and looked positive from ball one. There has been a bit of talk in the media about his place in the side considering his poor form with the bat. But with an aggressive innings of 57 not out of only 60 deliveries, Blundell has bought himself a bit more time. He timed the ball exquisitely and some of his shots went to the fence like tracer bullets.

Taking inspiration from Blundell’s stroke play Latham who had slowed down today started opening his shoulders. Fourteen runs in three balls including two massive slog sweeps for six in a Mominul Haque over saw him bring up his 250. He was dismissed for 252 next ball trying to hit Haque for another big one. It finally ended a marathon captain’s innings by Latham that lasted 373 balls and is now the highest individual score ever scored at the Hagley Oval. New Zealand declared their innings soon after Latham’s wicket on 521 for 6. For Bangladesh Shoriful Islam was the best bowler picking up 2 wickets for 79. Hossain too picked up 2 wickets but he went for 143 runs at an economy rate of 4.76 runs per over.

Having been in the field for a day and half Bangladesh would have wanted to return the favour to the Blackcaps but their innings got off to a disastrous start. The New Zealand bowlers who looked listless in the last test came out all guns blazing, found swing in the air and movement of the pitch immediately. Trent Boult (pictures) and Southee each picked up 2 wickets and reduced Bangladesh to 11 for 4 in the 7th over. It was a procession with Shadman 7, debutant Naim 0, Shanto 4 and captain Mominul 0 all back in the pavilion within 20 minutes of the innings starting. Litton Das and Yasir Ali then showed better defensive technique and resistance to stop the slide and took Bangladesh to the tea interval at 27 for 4 still trailing New Zealand by 494 runs.

The slide continued after tea as well with Das chasing a wide one from Boult only to inside edge it to Blundell. Das was dismissed for 8, Boult picked up his third wicket and Bangladesh slumped further to 27 for 5. Nurul Hasan was the next man in and finally we got to see some sensible batting by him and Yasir Ali. The pair were resolute in defense and the attacking field setting meant there were plenty of gaps to be exploited for scoring opportunities. The 50 of their partnership came up in the 27th over but just when it looked like they were settling in for a long stay at the crease Southee struck by trapping Nurul Hasan lbw. It was a marginal decision which Nurul reviewed. DRS showed the ball just clipping the outside of leg stump but remained out as it was given out by the on field umpire.

Mehidy Hasan then stuck around for 33 balls before Boult castled him with a beauty. With his fourth wicket of the innings Boult became the fourth kiwi to reach 300 test wickets. He is now in elite company with Sir Richard Hadlee, Daniel Vettori and Tim Southee and truly deserves his place in the club.

Taskin Ahmed quickly followed Mehidy to the pavilion with an ugly and irresponsible shot of Kyle Jamieson. The need of the hour was to stick around with Yasir Ali and let him take on the bowlers but Taskin had other plans. Yasir Ali then bought up his fifty but was dismissed soon after in the search for quick runs for 55. Boult picked up the final wicket of Shoriful to complete a five wicket haul and celebrated entering the 300 club in style. The Bangladesh innings finished for 126 and lasted only 42 overs. It was also the end of the day’s play. Bangladesh will need to bat out of their skins in their second innings to save the test whereas New Zealand will be aiming for an innings victory to square the series.