Lunch Bangladesh 39 for 1 (Tamim 34*, Mominul 2*) v New Zealand
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details
There was a spray of boundaries, and then rain as the first session of Test cricket on this Bangladesh tour of New Zealand lurched from eventful to ‘lets see what else is on on the telly.’ Tamim Iqbal was unbeaten on 36 off only 37 balls, having lost his opening partner Imrul Kayes for 1 in the fourth over. A sparse crowd in Wellington were entertained by his strokeplay until about 11.50 am when the shower began to concern the umpires enough to take the players off, and later call an early lunch.
There was hope that the strong northerly wind would whisk the rain away with it, but its impact on the match so far was limited to messing with Trent Boult‘s rhythm. He had 120 kph gusts on his back and perhaps that was too much of a leg up. After three wayward overs that cost 26 runs, Kane Williamson took his premier fast bowler out of the attack and brought on the medium-pacer Colin de Grandhomme to bowl with the wind on his back. He justified the call with an lbw appeal against Tamim and though it looked quite close – so much that New Zealand opted for a review against the umpire Marais Erasmus’ call of not out – replays indicated the ball would only have grazed leg stump.
New Zealand switching priorities from wicket-taking to containing was, essentially, an indication of how dangerous Tamim looked. His first scoring shot was a cut for four. For some reason Boult kept feeding that stroke and had to watch the ball fly away to the point boundary a couple more times before he was given some time off at long leg to rethink his lengths.
Tim Southee, on the other hand, was remarkable despite having to bowl into the wind. He conceded a mere six runs in 5.3 overs and worked Imrul Kayes over without breaking a sweat. The plan was simple. Feed the batsman with fullish deliveries around the off stump and then surprise him with the short ball. Bangladesh would feel rather disappointed that one of their opening batsman fell to a top-edged hook on a green-tinged pitch.
Though it seemed like that wicket came a bit too easily to Southee, he maintained an impeccable line and was clever enough to use cross-seamers with the new ball. There was abundant cloud cover in the morning, but with so much wind, there was precious little chance of swing in the air. The grass on the pitch, however, lent itself to helping the ball move after pitching and cross-seamers tend to surprise batsmen in these conditions. Mominul Haque’s outside edge was taken by one in the eighth over, and were it not for his use of soft hands, he may well have been caught in the slips.
Bangladesh handed a couple of new caps, Taskin Ahmed and his seam-bowling team-mate Subashis Roy joined Kamrul Islam Rabbi, who began his Test career last October, in the XI. The fourth prong of this inexperienced attack was also inexperienced, although Mehedi Hasan has already had grand success at this level with his offspin, bowling Bangladesh to their first Test victory over England a few months ago. Bangladesh were playing their first Test away from home in over two years.
Ross Taylor has recovered from eye surgery and retained his place at No. 4 in the New Zealand line-up. He has 16 hundreds, one shy of his mentor and national record-holder, the late Martin Crowe.
Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo