BANGLADESH TOUR OF NEW ZEALAND, 2019
Cricbuzz Staff •
Wagner ended up with nine wickets in the match. © AFP
Neil Wagner employed his tried and tested formula of banging it short to pick up five wickets in the second innings and powered the home side to a thumping victory by an innings and 12 runs against Bangladesh in the Wellington Test. With this crushing win, the home side also took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match rubber.
The left-arm paceman, who replaced Colin de Grandhomme in the attack, was relentless in using the short ball to trouble all the Bangladesh batsmen. Mohammad Mithun was the first victim to fall to his strategy. The middle order batsman got into a tangle while aiming to pull the short ball and could only eke out an edge to Tim Southee at backward square leg.
Liton Das didn’t last long either as he pulled one straight to the fielder stationed at fine leg. If Liton had played the shot with conviction, he perhaps could have cleared the boundary. By then, Bangladesh had lost six wickets and were staring at a massive defeat.
Mahmudullah, the Bangladesh skipper, decided to go down fighting as he steered a few banged in deliveries through backward point. The right-handed batsman used more of an open stance to get beside the line and dab it behind point. However, he also got lucky with a few top-edged pulls.
Unfortunately for the Bangladesh skipper, he didn’t find much support from the other end. Taijul Islam, who was struggling against Wagner, gloved one to silly point. Mustafizur Rahman, batting at No.9, slogged away a couple of sixes.
In fact, the second of his sixes came via an ungainly top edge that flew over the ‘keeper’s head and into the stands. Even the on-field umpire couldn’t stop from having a cheeky smile. Boult, who was at the receiving end of one of the sixes, had the last laugh when he cleaned up the lower order batsman with a full and straight delivery.
Mahmudullah continued to wage a lone battle and even crunched a six off Wagner over third man before falling to the left-arm paceman. The Northern Districts paceman duly provided the finishing touches by rattling the stumps of Ebadat Hossain. Wagner ended up with nine wickets for the match. Boult, who took the first wicket of the final day by dislodging Soumya Sarkar, finished with seven for the match.
Ross Taylor also played a key role in New Zealand’s thumping win with a quickfire double hundred in the first innings. It was his 212-ball 200 that helped New Zealand to declare in the final session of Day 4. It has to be noted that the first two days of the Test were washed out due to persistent rain.
The visiting side has a lot of soul-searching to do as they yet again couldn’t find a method to paddle through Wagner’s strategy of banging it short. Meanwhile, New Zealand would be sweating over the fitness of Kane Williamson, the captain, and BJ Watling, the wicketkeeper-batsman, ahead of the final Test in Christchurch.
Williamson didn’t take the field in the second innings due to a shoulder problem while Watling sustained a hamstring injury before the commencement of the final day. Peter Bocock, the Northern Districts ‘keeper, who was awarded a contract by the Province only last season, took up the wicketkeeping duties.
Brief scores: Bangladesh 211 (Tamim Iqbal 74; Neil Wagner 4-28, Trent Boult 3-38) and 209 (Mahmudullah 67; Neil Wagner 5-45, Trent Boult 4-52) lost to New Zealand 432/6 decl. (Ross Taylor 200, Henry Nicholls 107; Abu Jayed 3-94) by an innings and 12 runs.