Iqbal, Junaid lead Bangladesh fightback

Published: Saturday, January 5, 2008, 12:18 [IST]
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Bangla battle back against Kiwis

Dunedin: Plucky Bangladesh openers Tamim Iqbal and Junaid Siddique closed in on a 220-run first innings deficit to shatter New Zealand thoughts of a first Test rout here at the Carisbrook Stadium on Saturday.

By stumps on the second day the Test debutants had posted a record-breaking 148 after centuries by Matthew Bell and Jacob Oram had earlier carried New Zealand to 357 in reply to the 137 by Bangladesh in the first innings.

Iqbal was not out 72 and Siddique on 69 with their stand the highest by a Bangladesh opening partnership in any Test, the highest by any Bangladesh pair against New Zealand and the highest partnership of this Test.

Bell and Oram had earlier featured in a 139-run partnership for New Zealand but received little support on a wicket which did not appear to hold any demons for the batsmen.

When Bell, who made 107, and Jacob Oram, 117, were in full flight, New Zealand appeared on track for a lead well in excess of 300.

Bell, on his return to the New Zealand side after being unwanted for the past six years, weathered a shaky period in the 90s and survived a confident leg before wicket appeal on 97 before scoring his second Test hundred.

Ten runs later he was out lbw to Mashrafe Mortaza.

Oram reached his fourth Test century three balls after lunch with his 16th boundary before he was bowled by Mortaza.

Kyle Mills was caught behind first ball leaving Iain O'Brien to thwart the hat-trick before he was last out for five.

The introduction of the second new ball saw the last four New Zealand wickets tumble for just 37 runs.

A 32 by captain Daniel Vettori was the only other score of note, although Chris Martin who has one of the world's worst Test averages of two from 48 innings, posted his highest international score with an unbeaten 12.

For Bangladesh, paceman Mortaza had the best bowling figures with four for 74 off 23 overs.

Faced with a 220-run target to make New Zealand bat again, Iqbal and Siddique made light of the New Zealand bowling and brought up the 100 at better than five an over.

They only gave up one chance when Iqbal mistimed a pull shot off Mills but Iain O'Brien spilled the chance.

Although the scoring rate slowed in the last half hour they had Bangladesh comfortably placed and New Zealand now face the prospect of a fourth-innings run chase.

New Zealand won their four previous Tests against Bangladesh by more than an innings.


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