Bangladesh consolidate after early wobble

Published: Sunday, October 19, 2008, 14:24 [IST]
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Bangladesh consolidated their lead in their bid to force a win against New Zealand on the third day of the first Test here on Sunday.

The home team, seeking their first win against a major Test playing country, went into tea at 111-5 to build on the platform set by left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan Hasan who returned Bangladesh's best innings figures with 7-36.

Mushfiqur Rahim (27) and Hasan (28) were at the crease as Bangladesh now have an overall lead of 185 after being 5-71 at one stage on a slow turning Divisional Stadium pitch.

It was Hasan's quality spin bowling which wrapped New Zealand's first innings for 171 in reply to Bangladesh's 245.

Hasan's effort, which surpassed the previous best innings figures for Bangladesh in all their 54 Tests, gave the home side an invaluable lead in the first innings.

The previous best innings figures were 7-95 by another left-armer Enamul Haque against Zimbabwe at Dhaka three years ago.

However, the Bangladeshi top order flopped again as left-armer Daniel Vettori (2-17) and off-spinner Jeetan Patel (2-35) put the home team on the back foot with four wickets before lunch.

Paceman Kyle Mills provided the breakthrough when he removed opener Zunaed Siddique (six) after Bangladesh raced to 24-0 by the seventh over.

Patel trapped Rajin Saleh for six and in the next over Vettori had Bangladeshi skipper Mohammad Ashraful caught at cover for nought to leave the home team struggling at 37-3.

The spinning duo bowled with variety as Patel forced an uppish shot off Mehrab Hossain and had him caught at mid-on. Mehrab, who made a fighting 83 in the first innings, managed just six.

Vettori inflicted another blow on the home team when he caught opener Tamim Iqbal off his own bowling, sending half the line-up back to the pavilion for a mere 71.

Earlier, Vettori (55 not out) scored his 17th Test half-century to help the tourists add a valuable 16 runs after they resumed at 155-9.

Vettori hit nine boundaries during his 73-ball knock.

It was Hasan again who dismissed the last man Iain O'Brien, bowled round his legs for five to dismiss New Zealand for their lowest total against Bangladesh.

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