A hat trick, a declaration and a draw

Day five: BLACKCAPS 469 and 287-7 declared (Peter Fulton 59, Kane Williamson 74, Ross Taylor 54, Sohag 6-77) Bangladesh 501 and 173-3 (Shakib Al Hasan 50)

If most observers expected a tame draw, day five here suddenly U-turned towards the unexpected thanks to a hat trick from that man Sohag Gazi, and a bold declaration from Brendon McCullum. All three results were possible going into the final innings and appropriately for a match that had twisted and turned throughout, there was almost a sting in the tail in the final hour. 

Scorecard on blackcaps.co.nz

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In the morning session, the BLACKCAPS progressed steadily for the loss of Peter Fulton for 59 and Kane Williamson for 73. Williamson was caught from a freakish catch, pulling a Sohag delivery to Anamul Haque at short leg, who somehow caught the ball between his legs.  

McCullum was bowled for 22 trying to cut Sohag - but as the BLACKCAPS attempted to lift the scoring rate before their declaration, things went haywire. 

First, Corey Anderson was trapped lbw for 8 by Sohag, who struck again next ball when BJ Watling edged behind to Mushfiqur Rahim. Doug Bracewell faced the fateful ball and got an edge, which ballooned off Mushfiqur's pads to be scooped up by Nasir Hossain, making Shoag the first man to score a century and take a hat trick in a Test. 

Among all the excitement Ross Taylor went past 50 and Ish Sodhi settled in, clobbering consecutive sixes over mid on and mid off before McCullum declared at 287-7 setting Bangladesh 255 in 46 overs to win the Test. 

Trent Boult and Bracewell were sharp straight away, bowling tight spells before McCullum turned to Corey Anderson, who had a confident lbw shout turned down, and his spin attack. Bruce Martin struck in the second over after tea, picking up Anamul Haque for 18, and Tamim Iqbal immediately afterwards to an Anderson catch. 

Ish Sodhi then got in on the act, trapping Marshall Ayub lbw for 31. With two new men at the crease there was a feel of late drama in the air, but Shakib Al Hasan nervelessly went on the attack, striking a series of clean boundaries. 

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In the last over before the close Taylor gave a cameo at the bowling crease, and with Shakib stranded on 46 when time was up, McCullum allowed play to continue so he could reach his 50, ending the Bangladesh innings at 173-3.

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McCullum's men will be pleased with their form with the bat, and the improvements they made through the Test in the spinning and fielding departments. The teams now head to Dhaka to play the deciding Test after the EID religious holiday, starting on Monday 21 October. 


Day four: Bangladesh 501 (Sohag Gazi 101, Doug Bracewell 3-96), BLACKCAPS 469 and 117-1 (Peter Fulton 44, Hamish Rutherford 32) 

The BLACKCAPS reached a lead of 85 runs over Bangladesh when rain stopped play on day four of the first Test in Chittagong.

Bangladesh had frustrated the BLACKCAPS in today's morning session, coming up against an inspired Sohag Gazi, who recorded his maiden Test century on a surface that's very much suited the batsmen. The last two Bangladesh wickets came soon after lunch, and the BLACKCAPS openers set about reeling in the lead and establishing one of their own.

Trent Boult started the first session with a bang, striking in his second over of the morning, catching Abdur Razzak in front. Doug Bracewell also hurried the home batsmen, forcing a series of lbw appeals, but none were successful. Sohag was playing well and scoring freely, taking boundaries from all the bowlers, before closing in on his century. 

Trent and Doug 50th
Trent Boult (left) and Doug Bracewell both reached 50 Test wickets in this Test - here they are with their match balls.  

Things happened quickly after the lunch break - Bracewell picked up his 50th Test wicket when Robiul top edged to Ross Taylor. Two overs later Sohag brought up his well-deserved century by cutting the same bowler to the boundary. 

In the next over Ish Sodhi bagged his second Test wicket when Rubel Hossain flayed outside off stump and edged to Brendon McCullum at second slip. This brought Bangladesh's innings to an end on 501 - 32 ahead in only the third time they've exceeded 500 in an innings. 

After the innings break, Bangladesh opened with spinner Abdur Razzak, and it wasn't long before Sohag joined him to create an all-spin attack, causing Hamish Rutherford and Peter Fulton to send for the black cap and floppy sunhat respectively. 

Fulton patiently waited for the balls he wanted to score from, lofting Abdur over mid on for a huge six in the 13th over. The openers knocked off the lead in the 10th over, before Rutherford went for 32 in the 16th, swinging hard at a Nasir delivery and getting caught in front lbw. 

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Kane Williamson and Fulton then made cautious progress largely without incident, increasing the lead as they went. With 40 minutes remaining, the heavens opened and brought play to a close, with a lead of 85 for the BLACKCAPS. Play will resume half an hour earlier on day five as both sides try to force a result. 

Day three: Bangladesh 380-7  (Momuni 181, Rahib 67, Doug Bracewell 2-71, Corey Anderson 2-23)

Ish Sodhi and Corey Anderson's first Test scalps were the highlights for the BLACKCAPS after a full day in the field in strength sapping conditions, as Bangladesh finished the day 89 runs behind. A fine 181 from Momuni Haque was the backbone of the hosts' efforts, well supported by Mushfiqur Rahib and a dashing cameo from Nasir Hossain. 

The BLACKCAPS game plan was to create pressure by stopping the scoring and forcing mistakes - it worked when Anderson broke through by getting Marshall Ayub to edge to BJ Watling for his first Test wicket. But from there Mominul and Shakib Al Hasan were able to relive the tension with boundaries far too often. The bowlers were used in short spells, with Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Sodhi and Kane Williamson taking the load in the morning session. 

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Williamson struck in the first over after lunch with Shakib, who'd looked set, slashing at a ball outside off. It rose sharply from his bat and Watling showed lightning reflexes to take the catch. 

Mominul brought up his 150 soon after to the delight of the home fans, who by this time were seeking shelter from the heat anywhere they could. The pint-sized number four showed an impressive range of strokes with a wagon wheel evenly distributed around the park. 

The BLACKCAPS took the new ball as soon as it was available, with Boult and Bracewell brought back into the attack. The first chance came soon after when Mominul slashed at a Boult delivery when he was on 172, but it went to grass as Brendon McCullum dived across Ross Taylor at first slip. 

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The momentum turned slightly a few overs after tea. First, Anderson trapped Mominul in front for an easy lbw decision when he was on 181. Anderson's second Test wicket brought this fine innings and the partnership of 121 with Mushifiqur to a close. In the very next over Bracewell had Mushfiqur edging to the slips for 67, where Taylor took a brilliant diving catch to bring two new men to the crease. 

Nasir went on the attack straight away, scoring a series of boundaries in an attempt to wrestle back the momentum. He was a thorn in the BLACKCAPS side until four overs before stumps, when he skied Sodhi to mid wicket, giving the youngster his first Test wicket. 

The BLACKCAPS will look to get the job done early in the morning session without further significant inroad to their lead, and start again with the bat to set up day five. 

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Day two: New Zealand 469 (BJ Watling 103, Trent Boult 52, Razzak 3-147), Bangladesh 103-2 (Mominul Haque 77*)

Momentum lurched wildly from one team to another and back again on day two of the first Test between the BLACKCAPS and Bangladesh in Chittagong.

Two early wickets to Bangladesh could have been three, as BJ Watling was caught off a no ball early. But he went on to record a gutsy century, impeccably backed up by Trent Boult, who made his own first Test 50, taking the BLACKCAPS to 469.

Boult then got the breakthough with his 50th Test wicket, but Bangladesh hit back with Mominui making 77 not out to take his side to 103-2 at stumps - 366 behind with eight wickets left.  

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The BLACKCAPS didn't get the start to day two that they planned, losing Bruce Martin and Corey Anderson for one run each in quick time. It could have been worse as Watling was caught soon after, but replays showed Hossain overstepped, and Watling was called back to the crease - it was a moment that could yet haunt Bangladesh in this Test.  

Doug Bracewell was in a confident mood, punishing Hossain with an on drive and pull for two fours in one over. Watling was more circumspect, happy to defend and work singles into the open spaces created by the men crowding the bat. Bracewell was eventually bowled by Sohag Gazi for 29, which ended the fine partnership with Watling. 

Ish Sodhi lost his wicket for one run, bringing Boult in as last man. He took a conservative 21 balls to get off the mark, and was happy to support Watling as he inched toward his 50.

If BLACKCAPS fans thought getting to lunch was an achievement, better yet was to come in the second session. Watling and Boult formed a solid partnership, steadily tracking down and surpassing the milestones. First, they crept past 400. Then Boult brought up his 50 calmly, happy to do it in singles at the end after a number of confident boundaries. Then Watling sealed his second Test hundred with a pull over mid-wicket for six. He was stumped soon after for 103, his 127 run partnership with Boult playing a massive part in getting the BLACKCAPS to 469 all out.  

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The last session was an arm wrestle. Boult broke through with his first legitimate ball, before Bracewell had Anamul Haque edging to Peter Fulton at second slip, but replays showed it was a no ball. Bracewell made amends soon after, grabbing his man Haque for 3. 

Mominul Haque decided the best form of defence was clearly attack, upping the run rate and finding the boundary with ease. Sodhi and Anderson both made their bowling debuts for the BLACKCAPS, and by the final half hour the BLACKCAPS were using their full spin attack, with Martin, Sodhi and Kane Williamson all in action. 

Bangladesh finished on 103-2 - the start to day three will be crucial, with both teams keen to wrest the momentum and keep it. More heat and humidly is predicted, and there may well be more twists to this absorbing contest on a surface that appears to have less surprises than expected. 


Day one: BLACKCAPS 280-5 (Kane Williamson 114, Peter Fulton 73, Abdur Razzak 2-100)

The BLACKCAPS lost three late wickets to finish day one of the first Test against Bangladesh at 280-5 after being in a strong position at 244-2 an hour earlier. The match now heads into day two evenly balanced.
 
Earlier in the day, Brendon McCullum had no hesitation choosing to bat when the coin came down heads, making debutants Ish Sodhi and Corey Anderson wait before their first taste of on-field Test cricket. The predicted rain had stayed away but conditions, while humid, were extremely dry underfoot, testament to Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium's powers of drainage after the thunderstorms the day before. 

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Openers Hamish Rutherford and Peter Fulton were confronted with the much talked-about spin attack after just five overs, but handled it with aplomb. Fulton in particular was patient, happy to trust his defence, while Rutherford was confident to play his shots after get himself in. 

The BLACKCAPS lost their first wicket at 57, when Hamish Rutherford miscued Sohag Gazi to mid off, to be caught by Abdur Razzak for 34. That brought Kane Williamson to the crease - like the openers he was  watchful to start, but looked comfortable with the mostly spin attack, who were getting through their overs rapidly. Fans were treated to the rare site of a batsman playing in a floppy hat, as Fulton sought relief from the sun. He fell just before tea, slashing Nasir Hossain to Mominul Haque in the covers, where he took a low catch. Fulton had faced 198 balls for his 73, and set the tone for the NZ innings. 

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Ross Taylor was next man in and was positive straight away, scoring at almost a run a ball. Williamson moved to 98 with a four through the covers from Gazi, before drinks were called, agonisingly for the fans back home. He calmly brought up his fourth Test hundred, and his third on the sub continent, with a clip to third man for four.  

The final hour took the shine off the day somewhat, with Taylor caught from a leading edge to the hard working Razzak for 28, before Williamson was trapped LBW by Shakib Al Hasan for 114 to bring his calm, mature innings to a close. McCullum came out willing to take on the attack, hitting three boundaries and looking in confident touch before falling LBW to Razzak on the final ball of the day.

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The BLACKCAPS will look back on the day with satisfaction at the way all batsmen played themselves in and took their time to build partnerships, but with regret in terms of the late wickets. The way they played the first five hours showed they're very capable of performing well in Bangladesh, and their thorough preparation for this series is showing signs of paying off.

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