Mominul Haque and Tamim Iqbal plundered the New Zealand attack to have Bangladesh 154-3 at stumps on a rain-disrupted opening day of the first Test in Wellington yesterday.
New Zealand were all smiles when they won the toss and put Bangladesh into bat in prime bowling conditions, but at the end of the day after rain and bad light had restricted play to 40.2 overs it was Bangladesh with their heads held high.
Mominul was unbeaten on 64 at the close and Shakib Al Hasan on 5 after being dropped on 4. Opener Tamim was out leg before wicket to Trent Boult for 56.
“Today was Bangladesh’s day,” New Zealand seamer Neil Wagner said, blaming the bowling unit for not making the most of the conditions. “We didn’t do that. We missed a little bit and we got hurt.”
Wagner said the New Zealand seamers need to bowl a better line today to get into the match.
“We’re going to have to find a way. We know if we put the ball in the right area for a period of time, and build that pressure and bowl consistently in partnerships, you can get two, three, four wickets quickly,” he said.
Tamim, who led the way for Bangladesh with his aggressive approach, said the tourists were happy with the state of the game.
“History says the first innings is really difficult on this wicket and not too many runs have been scored by the best of teams. In that case we handled it pretty well,” Tamim said. “We are very new to this wind so at times we had to stop the bowlers because it was too heavy. There were seven, eight occasions when the bails fell down. For us it was difficult because we haven’t faced this situation before, but still we played really well.”
The bowlers, particularly Boult in the early overs, had trouble keeping their balance and control in the wind — with gusts of up to 120kph.
The wind sent the bails, players’ caps and sunglasses flying, forcing the TV cameramen to vacate their tower at the exposed end of the ground, but it could not stop Tamim and Mominul cashing in.
Tamim only faced 50 deliveries for his whirlwind 56, which included 11 fours, while Mominul has 10 fours and a six to his name.
Tim Southee removed opener Imrul Kayes for 1 and finished the day with 1-45. Boult had figures of 1-53 and Wagner, who removed Mahmudullah for 26, ended with 1-28.
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