AP NEWS

NZealand 86-0 at stumps on Day 1 of 1st test vs Bangladesh

February 28, 2019

HAMILTON, New Zealand (AP) — Neil Wagner took 5 for 47 to take back control of the first cricket test for New Zealand on Thursday after Tamim Iqbal’s 126 put Bangladesh on top early on the opening day.

Tamim’s bold response to New Zealand’s decision to bowl on winning the toss saw Bangladesh race to 147-2. But it faltered between lunch and tea, losing five wickets in the session and eventually 8-87 to be all out for 234.

New Zealand was 86 without loss at stumps with Jeet Raval 51 and Tom Latham on 35.

The first day likely will still be remembered more for Tamim’s masterful batting than for Wagner’s pugnacious bowling, though it ensured New Zealand ended the day in a commanding position.

Tamim was 85 not out at lunch and for most of that session it looked as if he would join the elite company of batsmen who have scored a century before lunch on the opening day of a test. He signaled his intentions when he took two fours and 10 runs from the first over bowled by Tim Southee and rushed to his half-century from only 37 balls with 10 fours.

He stayed on pace to reach three figures in the session, then suddenly went into his shell and added only two runs from the last 10 balls he faced before the interval. Tamim went on to complete his ninth test century shortly after the resumption, from exactly 100 balls and with 18 fours or 72 runs from boundaries.

He went into his shell again as Bangladesh lost quick wickets after lunch, then came out firing again, hitting two fours and a six from a Southee over. But he became reckless, had a life when he only just managed to clear the infield with a lofted shot and fell to the unthreatening bowling of Colin de Grandhomme, steering a slow, short and wide delivery to Kane Williamson at gully.

His innings was still a delight to watch, containing 21 fours and a six, mostly struck square of the wicket on the off side or through cover. He played as if in a limited-overs match and at one stage New Zealand opening bowler Trent Boult passed him and stump microphones picked up his query “where was this batting in the one-day series?” New Zealand beat Bangladesh 3-0 in three 50-over matches.

Tamim gave New Zealand captain Kane Williamson cause to question his decision to bowl on winning the toss. He doubted the pitch would provide the usual assistance to seam bowlers but he thought New Zealand would have to play a long game, taking wickets later.

The events of the first day bore out Williamson’s assessment. Tamim easily saw off the New Zealand new-ball bowlers but Bangladesh fell apart against the persistent short-pitched bowling of Wagner. Bowling short and around the wicket to right handers, he proves unusually difficult to handle and has been New Zealand’s most reliable wicket-taker for some time.

“I thought Tamim played extremely well,” Wagner said. “He brought the attack to us, whenever you missed he capitalized on it and he tried to hit us off our length.

“Good on him, he really well played. I thought it was a really good innings but them we obviously regrouped and tried to focus on what we could control and change and be as effective as we could.”

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