Chittagong: New Zealand led Bangladesh by 85 runs in reply to the host's first innings total of 501 as rains forced umpires to declare an early stump amid strong possibility of a drawn match on the fourth day of the first Test Saturday.
After Bangladesh took a first-innings lead of 32 runs New Zealand reached 117-1 halfway through the last session. Rains stopped but authorities decided not to resume play because of drenched outfield.
Peter Fulton was not out on 44 with Kane Williamson unbeaten on 28 at stumps. Earlier, Hamish Rutherford fell on 32 in a match that will likely require a bold declaration by the visitors if they are to avoid a draw. Bangladesh were earlier dismissed in the second session after Sohag Gazi scored his maiden century and contributed 105 runs in the ninth wicket partnership with Robiul Islam to help his side cruise to 501.
Gazi's 101 runs came off 161 balls that included 10 fours and three sixes, and he was happy with his performance. New Zealand's first innings' total was 469. "It is always a great feeling to score a century. I was excited to have my 50 as it was my first international 50. And the century obviously has made me happier," Gazi said.
He said Bangladesh would try to dismiss New Zealand early in the morning on Sunday to take charge with the bat. "We want to win the match and we will try to bowl them out as quickly as possible tomorrow," he said. Immediately after the lunch break Robiul was out on 33 without adding any scores to the lunch figure. Rubel Hossain was the last batsman to fall on 4, ending the Bangladesh innings.
In the morning session, Gazi continued to batter New Zealand after Abdur Razzak fell on 7 to be the first wicket of the day. Doug Bracewell led the bowling attack by taking 3-96 while Corey Anderson finished with 2-34 and Trent Boult had 2-50.
Rabeed Imam, media manager of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, said play would resume 30 minutes earlier than scheduled on Sunday if weather permits.
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