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Bangladesh keep them aloft despite Williamson masterclass

Cricket 2023-11-29, 10:25pm


Dhaka, 29 Nov- Bangladesh put them on top of New Zealand in the second Test, defying a Kane Williamson masterclass on day two of the game at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.

Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam was instrumental in giving the side an edge over the Kiwis as he claimed 4-89 today, including the prized scalp of Williamson.

Williamson was dismissed at late afternoon after scoring 104, his 29th century which leveled him with ultimate great Don Bradman and Indian maestro Virat Kohli as New Zealand reached 266-8 at stumps, still trailing by 42 runs.

With the balls spinning, turning to baffle the batters, Bangladesh are expected to take a lead which could determine the course of the game.

Bangladesh folded on its overnight score of 310 when Black Caps skipper and fast bowler Tim Southee had Shoriful Islam out leg before wicket with the first ball of the morning.

The home side spinners got into act immediately, turning the balls admirably to trouble the New Zealand batters but Williamson defied them with stoic defense to keep the side in the hunt of taking a crucial lead.

He got support from Glenn Phillips (42) and Daryl Mitchell (41) before Bangladesh bowlers made inroads in the last hour with second new ball to keep the side's nose ahead.

Bangladesh played just one pacer in Shoriful Islam, in fact with an anticipation that the spin will come into the fore as the days go on.

New Zealand openers Tom Latham and Devon Conway though played out Shoriful without any problem, they found them in wanting against offspinners Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nayeem Hasan and left-arm spinner Taijul Islam.

With Taijul finding support from the pitch, Latham who hit three fours for his 21 off 44 tried to sweep him to counter his threat but ended up top-edging it to Nayeem Hasan at backward square leg.

Conway after scoring 12 from 40 balls followed him two overs later when Miraz had him caught by Shahadat Hossain at silly point as he tried to defend a quicker delivery.

With the side at 44-2 at 16th over, Williamson added 54 runs with Henry Nicholls who after making 19, edged a moving delivery of Shoriful Islam behind the wicket.

But Williamson was unstoppable as he found support in Daryl Mitchell, who batted with his natural aggression to put New Zealand on top.

As the duo batted fluently, Bangladesh were in backfoot. However Taijul had Mitchell stumped, ending the dangerous 66-run partnership and helped the side claw back to the game.

Mitchell hit three fours and on six for his 54 ball-41.

Nayeem Hasan who had figures of 1-61, joined the party, dismissing Tom Blundell for 6 as New Zealand were left to 175-5.

With Bangladesh looking to expose the tail of New Zealand, Phillips joined Williamson to give the Kiwis a ray of hope.

Together they kept the spinners at bay, using their feet well, prompting skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto to go to occasional bowler Mominul Haque for the breakthrough.

And Mominul broke the 78-run partnership in his first over as Phillips edged delivery, which spun slightly, behind.

Williamson then raised his third straight and fourth century in as many games off 189 balls, clipping Nayeem behind the square for a single.

But shortly after his century, when the second new ball was taken, Taijul brought an end to his masterclass with an arm delivery which went straight to rattle his stump. His 205-ball knock was laced with 11 boundaries.

Taijul also dismissed Ish Sodhi to edge Bangladesh closer to earn a valuable lead before the bad light forced stumps.

New Zealand allrounder Glenn Phillips earlier claimed 4-53 in just his second match to play a key role in bowling out Bangladesh for 310 after the hosts won the toss and batted first.

Opener Mahmudul Hasan made a team-high 86. Skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto and Mominul Haque contributed 37 runs each.