Chittagong: Mominul Haque wiped away any doubts about his place in the Test line-up with an authoritative 181 that helped Bangladesh make significant progress towards New Zealand’s first innings score of 469. His innings is the third highest score by a Bangladeshi batsman, and it was an innings that was his first serious expression of a calculative approach.
At stumps, the home side was 380 for 7, with Sohag Gazi and Abdur Razzak at the crease. Nasir Hossain was the last of the recognised batsman to be dismissed, which means that the tail would have to bat around Gazi, who is on 28.
Despite some natural wear and tear on the wicket, there haven’t been many balls that caused alarm. At best there was a sense of bemusement when some of the deliveries bounced twice or thrice on their way to wicketkeeper BJ Watling. This was predicted, and so was assistance to spin. But it hasn’t materialised yet, much to the dissatisfaction of Bruce Martin and Ish Sodhi.
Mominul dictated terms for the six hours he spent at the crease, picking up where he left off overnight. Five fours came off the first 27 deliveries he faced, which got him to the century. He had to survive a couple of close calls when he edged a few and skied one towards deep point, but reached the mark off 98 balls.
Though his pace slowed – taking another 100 balls to get to 150 – Mominul made key contributions to a 126-run third wicket stand with Marshall Ayub, 46 runs for the fourth wicket with Shakib Al Hasan and another 121 with captain Mushfiqur Rahim for the fifth wicket.
Mushfiqur struck 67 off 119 balls with ten fours and two sixes, having dominated the proceedings and making the New Zealand bowlers go through their toughest phase in the afternoon sessions.
Mominul was clever as he kept one end up, consolidating his position and creeping towards the only two higher scores by Bangladesh batsmen – Mushfiqur’s 200 and Ashraful’s 190, made earlier this year. Though Mominul was at his slowest in the last part of his innings, when he added 31 runs off 75 balls.
Earlier, Marshall couldn’t capitalise on his start from the previous evening after he chased a wide one to give allrounder Corey Anderson his first Test wicket. The left-armer added a second with the wicket of Mominul, who was trapped leg-before after batting for 377 minutes. He had only just survived a dropped catch when Brendan McCullum’s one-handed attempt didn’t work out when he dived in front of first slip Ross Taylor off Trent Boult.
Taylor made up for it, taking a good one to get rid of Mushfiqur, which could have hurt Bangladesh but Nasir and Gazi added 70 runs for the seventh wicket. before the Nasir holed out after he top-edged a half-tracker from Sodhi.
Doug Bracewell and Anderson took two wickets while Boult, Sodhi and Kane Williamson took one each. It was a lot of hard work for the three seamers, and a few misfields and the dropped catch didn’t help. Nasir batted at a fair clip, scoring 46 off 65 balls with seven fours and a six. But he was far too impetuous considering a little more caution would have seen Bangladesh end the day in a slightly stronger position.
Bangladesh 380 for 7 (Mominul 181, Anderson 2-23) trail New Zealand 469 (Williamson 114, Watling 103) by 89 runs