Bangladesh’s Sohag Gazi followed a maiden Test century with a hat-trick to light up the final stages of the first Test against New Zealand, which ended in a draw in Chittagong yesterday.
The 22-year-old off-spinner had Corey Anderson trapped leg before, Bradley-John Watling caught behind and Doug Bracewell caught in the slips off successive balls at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
Gazi’s hat-trick, which gave him his sixth wicket in the innings, saw the Black Caps slump from 260-4 to 260-7 in their second knock after lunch on the fifth and final day.
The tourists declared the innings closed at 287-7, leaving Bangladesh a target of 256 runs in a minimum of 45 overs to win the Test and take a lead in the two-match series.
The hosts showed no appetite to chase the stiff target and ended play on 173-3 in the 49th over, with Shakib Al Hasan unbeaten on 50 and newcomer Mominul Haque on 22.
Gazi, who hit an unbeaten 101 batting at No. 8 on Saturday, joined Alok Kapali as only the second Bangladesh bowler to claim a Test hat-trick.
Kapali achieved the feat against Pakistan in Peshawar in 2003 when he dismissed tailenders Shabbir Ahmed, Danish Kaneria and Umar Gul in consecutive deliveries.
“This was obviously a very good Test match for me, it has made me believe I belong to this level,” Gazi said. “I will go into the next match with a lot of self-confidence.”
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim said his team dominated a major part of the match.
“We were hungry to prove ourselves since we do not get many opportunities to play Tests,” he said. “Our batting effort in the first innings was excellent.”
“Mominul’s century on debut was very heartening, and one just can’t praise Gazi enough. A hundred and a hat-trick in the same game is something one can only dream about,” the captain said.
New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum said it was a tough outing for his bowlers, but was pleased the batsmen showed good form, especially first-innings century-makers Watling and Kane Williamson.
“The wicket was not an easy one, but Watling was just outstanding and I was very happy the way Kane played. We look forward to putting up a better show in the second Test,” he said.
The draw loomed after New Zealand made 469 in their first innings and Bangladesh replied with 501 on a newly laid pitch that offered bowlers little help.
Gazi, playing only his seventh Test, claimed all six Black Caps wickets to fall on the final day to finish with 6-77 off 26 overs.