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Debutants star for Bangladesh
05 Jan 2008
By: Zac Gelman

A fine performance from Bangladesh's debutant openers have put them right back in the match at the end of day two at Dunedin.

The match had been slipping away from the visitors when Tamim Iqbal and Junaid Siddique came into bat for their second innings in their first match and put on a 148 unbeaten partnership to take the tourists to within 72 runs of New Zealand's lead.

New Zealand started day two on 156/4, having bowled out Bangladesh for 137, with only Iqbal delivering for Bangladesh in their first innings. Matthew Bell, 74 overnight, approached his second century milestone nervously and cautiously, but the joy was there for all to see in his long awaited comeback match. He was eventually out seven runs later, given LBW to Bangladesh's relieved skipper, Mohammad Ashraful.

An inspired Oram added to Bangladesh's early woes as he skillfully navigated Bangladesh's best bowling efforts around the ground. The talented all-rounder bought up his fourth century with a four to mid-wicket and added another 17 runs including a six out of the park and was eventually bowled by Mashrafe Mortaza.

Earlier wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum also hit a huge six in the briefest of cameos before being caught off an outside edge at first slip for seven. Ashraful making the breakthrough again.

Oram managed a golden duck at the hands of Mortaza to put him on a hat-trick and Back Caps skipper Daniel Vettori added a useful 32. Martin also greatly amused the crowd with 12*, including consecutive fours to bring up his highest score in Test cricket and taking the Kiwi total to 357.

Whilst New Zealand are still firm favorites, Bangladesh has whittled away the home sides lead to just 72 with the tremendous opening partnership from the two youngsters. Should these two continue and the rest of the lineup follow suit, the contest could be very well alive and kicking.

Bangladesh 137
Tamim Iqbal 53, Shahriar Nafees 23
Chris Martin 4-64, Jacob Oram 3-23

New Zealand 357
Matthew Bell 107, Jacob Oram 117
Mashrafe Mortaza 4-74, Mohammad Ashraful 2-46

Bangladesh 0-148
Tamim Iqbal 72, Junaid Siddique 69

Bangladesh trail New Zealand's first innings score by 72 runs.

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