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Hapless Bangladesh Wilt Under Williamson Onslaught on Record-breaking Day

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: March 2, 2019, 7:21 PM IST
Hapless Bangladesh Wilt Under Williamson Onslaught on Record-breaking Day

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There were records galore in Hamilton as New Zealand led by Kane Williamson's unbeaten 200, for the first time in history crossed 700 in a Test innings on Saturday (March 2). The New Zealand captain also became the first player from his country to score 20 Test tons before bringing up his double century as the hosts declared on a mammoth 715/6, taking a lead of 481 runs over Bangladesh.

In reply, Bangladesh started positively with Tamim Iqbal following his century in the first innings with another half-century in the second but three wickets in four overs pegged them back. By the time stumps were drawn the visitors were 174/4 still trailing New Zealand by 307 runs. Mahmudullah was not out on 15 and had Soumya Sarkar for company on 39*.

Williamson unbeaten on 93 overnight did not take much time to reach his century on the third morning reaching the landmark with a nudge behind square. His century meant that it was just the 13th time in Test cricket history, that a team had their first three batsmen score centuries in the same innings. Openers Jeet Raval and Tom Latham had on the second day too smashed tons.

Neil Wagner, the nightwatchman having done his job last evening, opened up his shoulders on day three. He started off with a delightful cover drive of Khaled Ahmed and then thumped debutant Ebadot Hossain for three successive fours in the very next over before cracking Ahmed for two sixes and two fours that took the New Zealand score past the 500-run mark. The left-hander reached his highest score in Test cricket but could not record a maiden half-century falling caught behind to Hossain. His entertaining 42-ball 47 was laced with six fours and three sixes.

Despite the fall of Wagner, the runs kept on flowing. Williamson cracked pacer Abu Jayed for three fours in an over while BJ Watling too found his stride with a crunching boundary through covers. There were more records in store for Williamson when on 136 he completed 6000 runs in Test cricket, becoming the fourth and fastest New Zealander to do so and with the best average of 52.79. He soon reached his 150 as well with a signature cut past backward point.

Watling fell on the last ball before lunch for 31 but by that time New Zealand had already plundered 154 runs in the morning session to reach 605/6.

There was no respite for the visitors after the break with Colin de Grandhomme joining the party. The hard-hitting all-rounder started off his innings with two mighty sixes and then slammed Mehidy Hasan for three fours in an over as the lead crossed the 400 mark. It didn't take de Grandhomme long to reach his fifth half-century, off just 38 balls.

New Zealand crossed their highest Test score of 690 that they had recorded against Pakistan in 2014/15 and soon brought up their 700 as well for the very first time. With one ball to go for drinks in the final session, Williamson emphatically pulled speedster Jayed down to the fine leg boundary to bring up his double century reaching the landmark off 257 deliveries. His innings was studded with 19 fours and he declared immediately after with New Zealand on 715/6 after 163 overs. In all, the hosts amassed 264 runs in just 45 overs on day three with almost all batsmen making merry.

For Bangladesh, it was a sorry looking scorecard. Mehidy picked up two wickets but those came at a rather costly 246 runs from 49 overs - the sixth worst bowling figures in the history of Test cricket and the worst-ever by a Bangladeshi.

Bangladesh started off their second dig on a positive note with Tamim and Shadman Islam going for their shots. Tamim was more the aggressor following on from where he left in the first innings. He creamed Trent Boult for a four in the very first over before crashing Tim Southee for two fours and a six soon after. The confidence rubbed onto his partner Islam as well who collected a few boundaries himself as the visitors went into tea unscathed on 56/0.

The New Zealand bowlers opted for the short ball strategy after the break and the ploy worked with Wagner, the star of the show in the first innings, getting the first breakthrough. Islam, who was not going to back down come what may went for one shot too many to be caught at fine leg by Boult for 37.

Boult then had Mominul Haque caught neatly at slips by Ross Taylor for 8 and in his next over got rid of Mohammad Mithun caught at gully for 0. Tamim's shot-a-minute ride eventually ended on 74 (86 balls) when he was undone by a Southee bouncer that caught him in two minds and he could only edge it behind to Watling.

There were a few nervous moments before stumps for Mahmudullah and Soumya Sarkar but the duo somehow made it through.
First Published: March 2, 2019, 11:31 AM IST
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