New Zealand -Bangladesh Test Series
2nd Match Played at SBNCS, Meerpoor, Dhaka from 6-9 December 2023
Bangladesh 1st Innings 172 All Out (Mushfiqur Rahim 35, Shahadat Hossein Dipu 31, Mehidy Hasan Miraj 20, Glen Philips 3/31, Mitchel Santnar 3/65, Aijaz Patel 2/54)
Bangladesh 2nd Innings 144 (Zakir Hasan 59, Nazmul Hossein Shanto 15, Aijaz Patel 6/57, Mitchell Santnar (3/51)
New Zealand 1st Innings 180 All Out (Glen Philips 87, Kayle Jamieson 20, Mehidy Miraj 3/58, Taijul Islam 3/64, Shoriful Islam 2/15, Naeem Hasan 2/21)
New Zealand 2nd Innings 139/6 (Glen Philips 40*, Mitchel Santnar 35*, Mehidy Miraj 3/52, Taijul Islam 2/58)
New Zealand Won the Test by 4 wickets.
Series drawn 1-1
Player of the match: Glen Philips
Player of the series: Taijul Islam
On a slow low turning track where ball gripped and turned square from the first session of day one Bangladesh lost the match by 4 wickets to New Zealand.
Batting first Bangladesh managed to score 172. Taking advantage of the wicket Bangladesh bowlers could reduce black caps to 55/5 at stumps of day one. Rain ruined entire day two. On rain affected day three New Zealand riding on flamboyant Glen Philips (87) scoring 180 got a slender lead of 8 runs. Bangladesh could reach 38/2 at stumps on day three. New Spinners Aijaz Patel (6/57) and Mitchell Santnar (3/51) crashed Bangladesh to 144 All Out in the second innings. Mehidy Miraj taking 3/52 and Taijul 2/58 pressed the visitors. But Glen Philips producing another quality unbeaten innings of 40 shattered the dreams of Bangladesh winning its first ever test series against New Zealand. Scoring 139/6 black caps won the match by 4 wickets.
The series ended 1-1
Bangladesh Cricket Board reportedly under advice by Sri Lankan Head Coach and curator prepared low slow turning wicket at SBNCS to trap tourists New Zealand. As ill luck would have it, caught in their own trap Bangladesh lost the test on day four with the entire second day of the match being rain ruined. Bangladesh one up in the series having won the test at Sylhet National Cricket Stadium had golden opportunity of winning the series. A flat track could have earned a draw and give Bangladesh batsmen and bowlers good practice. But that did not happen. Playing on some treacherous surface Bangladesh cricket is not achieving any headway. BCB must change Sri Lankan curator if it sincerely wants cricket to achieve sustainable success.
We can not blame players too much. Test cricket is usually played on wickets which last for five days. It offers equal opportunity to bowlers and batsmen. The wickets at SBNCS usually have a bad reputation of being slow, low, and turning. It earned demerits points in the past. This time also 15 wickets fell on day one and 14 on day four. Bangladesh wining matches on such wickets get false confidence. When they play on sporting wickets having pace and bounce, they struggle. Recent performance in Asia Cup and World cup are testimonies. Bangladesh will soon play ODI and T20 series against New Zealand on vastly different wicket. We want to see how Haturasinghe tutored players perform. BCB must try to produce better wickets at SBNCS.
Looking back in retrospect younger players dominated Bangladesh team played admirably well in the first test at Sylhet winning deservedly by 150 runs. They also looked in command at stumps of day one though playing on treacherous surface was extremely challenging. Bangladesh could have done better if the second day was not washed out for rain. Bangladesh batted poorly without any application or plan on day four crashing to 144 all out.
Several players -Mominul, Mushfique, Nurul Sohan, Mehidy Miraj threw away their wickets. None but Zakir Hasan put any price on their wickets. Bangladesh succumbed to 144 all out setting a target of 137 to the black caps. Meraj and Taijul did their best. But the target was too little too less. Again, Glen Philips playing brave unbeaten innings of 40 snatched the match away from Bangladesh. Another dream got dashed.
Glen Philips deservedly won the player of the match and Taijul Islam was rightly adjudged player of the series.
BDST: 1122 HRS, DEC 10, 2023