Mehidy and Taijul put New Zealand under pressure after Bangladesh fold for 172

Mushfiqur Rahim was out obstructing the field for handling the ball
December 06, 2023

New Zealand 55 for 5 (Mitchell 12*, Phillips 5*, Mehidy 3-17, Taijul 2-29) trail Bangladesh 172 (Mushfiqur 35, Shahadat 31, Philips 3-31, Santner 3-65) by 117 runs

Spin took 13 out of the 15 wickets that fell on the first day of the Dhaka Test. New Zealand sunk to 46 for five in response to Bangladesh's 172 all out, and finished the day on 55 for five as Mehidy Hasan Miraz took three wickets and Taijul Islam two. The Bangladesh spinners gave back what their batters suffered at the hand of the New Zealand spinners.

Play was called off at 4:16pm, at least 14 minutes before the scheduled end, as bad light took effect on a murky day in Dhaka. Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Philips remained unbeaten on 12 and 5 respectively after the visitors ended up losing half their side in 49 minutes.

Mehidy removed Devon Conway when the left-hander left an arm ball from the offspinner. Taijul removed Tom Latham in the next over, caught behind to a delivery that kept low, caught well by wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan. Taijul struck in his next over too, when Henry Nicholls was caught at mid-on by Shoriful Islam.

Mehidy then had two in three balls in the 12th over when Shahadat Hossain took a good catch at short-leg, to remove Kane Williamson. One ball later, Tom Blundell was trapped dead in front of the stumps.

New Zealand's spin trio had earlier led the way as Bangladesh folded for 172. Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner and Ajaz Patel took eight wickets between them while Tim Southee took the other one that went to the bowlers. Mushfiqur Rahim, meanwhile, was given out obstructing the field, a dismissal that came at a critical moment for the visitors.

Mushfiqur and Shahadat Hossain had only started to resurrect Bangladesh with a 57-run stand after they had fallen to 47 for four, before the 88-Test veteran had a brain-fade moment. Otherwise though, Bangladesh's batters got out to soft shots as the visitors pounced on the mistakes.

Bangladesh lost four wickets each in the day's first two sessions. The root of the rot was in the sixth over when Bangladesh opener Mahmudul Hasan Joy tried too many things in the day's first over of spin. Patel started off with deliveries that spun and kept low, to which Joy tried everything including a wild slog.

The wicket followed soon after, when Santner had Zakir Hasan top-edging an attempted hoick towards long-on. It took a top-edge, and Williamson took the easy catch at mid-on for eight. Within four balls, Patel had Mahmudul caught at short leg, catching the inside edge with a poke. Mahmadul made 14.

Mominul Haque fell caught behind attempting a near-impossible cut shot against Patel. The ball had spun back at him, stayed a tad low, as Mominul, for the second time in this Test series, was caught behind off the inside edge. Glenn Philips had got him in Sylhet, while Patel had him in the first innings in Dhaka.

It was clear that batting wasn't going to be easy on this pitch, so Najmul Hossain Shanto attempted to hit his way out of trouble. It lasted just 14 balls when his third attempt to reverse-sweep ended up in him being pinned lbw by Santner.

Mushfiqur and Shahadat batted out the 13 overs before lunch with a little more ease, as Bangladesh went to lunch at 80 for four. Both batters used a bit more commonsense in their approach, which they were also expected to do after lunch.

Forty-seven minutes after the break, Mushfiqur did the unthinkable. After he defended a Kyle Jamieson delivery in the 41st over, for reasons best known to him, Mushfiqur tried to pat away the ball that was already a fair distance from his stumps. New Zealand appealed immediately, and the TV umpire obliged with the obstructing the field decision.

Mushfiqur made 35 off 83 balls with three fours and a slog-swept six. Shahadat followed him back to the pavilion in another 20 minutes, Phillips having him caught down the leg-side for 31. He struck two fours in his 102-ball stay.

Phillips then removed Nurul for seven runs, with the bat turning in his hand as he attempted to hit out at the offspinner. Santner had Mehidy caught at slip for 20, in the over before tea. Phillips added his third when he had Taijul lbw for six, with the batter not attempting a shot.

Southee, who didn't concede a run in his first five overs, took the final wicket in his sixth over, when he had Shoriful Islam caught behind for 10. TV umpire Ahsan Raza decided that Tom Blundell took the catch cleanly after the on-field umpires couldn't ascertain the legality of the catch.

The 15 wickets that fell on Wednesday is the most on the first day of a Test in Bangladesh, while the 13 taken by spinners is the joint-highest along with the India-Australia Indore Test earlier this year.

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