NZ in Strong Position
04 Jan 2008
By: Archie Mac
New Zealand have worked themselves into a good position at stumps on day one of the First Test against Bangladesh, finishing at 156-4 in reply to the visitors disappointing total of 137 all out.
Daniel Vettori won yet another toss and inserted Bangladesh on a pitch that was expected to help the seam bowlers, but apart from good bounce the pitch could not be blamed for another sub standard batting performance by the tourists.
Chris Martin struck early removing Junaid Siddique for just one (5-1), and then claiming Habibul Bashar caught at the wicket for a rapid 23 from just 22 deliveries (43-2). Martin then delivered a crucial blow when he trapped the Bangladesh Captain in front for a first ball duck (47-3).
Meanwhile opener Tamim Iqbal was fighting hard and was desperate to find a partner to support him from the other end. Shahriar Nafees looked to be that man, defending stubbornly, but when he was bowled by Vettori for a defiant 16 from 50 deliveries (82-4) and Tamim Iqbal followed soon after for a well made 53 (100-6), yet another victim of Martin.
Despite 22 from number nine Mashrafe Mortaza, Bangladesh were bowled out yet again on this tour for a sub par total, this time 137.
Opening bowler Sajidul Islam gave the tourists some early heart, trapping Craig Cumming LBW for one (5-1), at this stage the Bangladesh bowlers and fielders were sticking to their task with great determination and not a little skill restricting the Black Caps to less than two runs an over.
The pressure bore results with both Peter Fulton and ex-Captain Stephen Fleming being dismissed for just 14 (58-3). Opener Matthew Bell was still there and looking confident, and with the help of Mathew Sinclair (29) took the score to 121 before Sajidul Islam had the latter caught behind (121-4).
This was to be the last success for the tourists as Jacob Oram 17* and Bell 74* took the home team to stumps, finishing at 156-4.
Tamim Iqbal 53, Shahriar Nafees 23
Chris Martin 4-64, Jacob Oram 3-23
New Zealand 156-4
Matthew Bell 74*, Mathew Sinclair 29
Sajidul Islam 2-42