SYLHET(Banagladesh): Bangladesh pacer Taijul Islam helped the ‘Bengal Tigers’ take a 44-run lead over the visiting New Zealanders at the end of play on the second day of the opening Test in Sylhet.
Earlier, a ton by batting talisman Kane Williamson helped New Zealand reach 266/8 after the game was called off early due to bad light on Wednesday.
Williamson held New Zealand’s innings together on the second day after he calmly played 205 balls while also striking 11 boundaries.
The 33-year-old Kiwi batter tried to hold the middle order but the Bangladeshi bowlers did not let a partnership blossom as they kept on making regular breakthroughs.
Earlier in the second day, the hosts lost their remaining wicket when the Kiwi skipper Tim Southee trapped Shoriful Islam leg-before-wicket.
The visitors got off to a sedate start before Taijul made the first breakthrough, removing Tom Latham for 21 off 44 balls. Fellow Kiwi opener Devon Conway was also sent on his way by Mehidy Hasan Miraz for 12, with the visitors reduced to 44 for 2. New Zealand crossed the 50-run mark in 16.4 overs.
Following the two early wickets, Southee’s side tried to bounce back through a 54-run partnership between Williamson and southpaw Henry Nicholls.
However, the partnership was cut short after Nicholls succumbed to Shoriful Islam for 19 runs, with the wicket reducing the Kiwis to 98-3.
In the 32nd over, Bangladesh missed a golden opportunity to dislodge Daryl Mitchell from the crease but the team strangely did not seek a referral for a close shout for caught behind.
The replays, later, confirmed an edge. Following the close save, Mitchell settled down and was involved in a 66-run partnership with Williamson.
The Kiwis reached 100 runs in 32.3 overs.
Mitchell was dismissed in the 48th over for 41 runs after Taijul had him stumped. The Tigers were desperately in search of wickets when Taijul got the breakthrough.
Even though Taijul was superb with the ball on the second day, he was a bit sloppy on the field as he dropped Williamson at midwicket. Later, Shoriful again dropped an offering from the former Kiwi skipper at deep-backward square leg.
At tea, the New Zealand were at 168/4 in 52.0 overs.
However, Nayeem dismissed Tom Blundell in the 56.1 overs for 6 off 21 balls, reducing the visitors to 175-5.
The visitors crossed the 200-run mark in 62.6 overs.
Mominul Haque sent back the star of the first day, Glenn Phillips, for 42 runs off 62 balls.
Williamson reached his century off 189 balls with 11 fours. However, Taijul dismissed the only standout batter for the Kiwis in the 81st over.
His fourth wicket of the day came after he removed Ish Sodhi for a six-ball duck in the 83rd over.
Before the day was called off, New Zealand’s Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee were on the crease in the 84th over. Meanwhile, Ajaz Patel is yet to bat.
While Taijul was the pick of the bowlers for Bangladesh, Shoriful, Mehidy, Nayeem, and Mominul all picked up a wicket each on the second day.
Williamson’s hundred was the 29th of his Test career, helping him go level with Virat Kohli and Sir Donald Bradman. The skipper was the only player from New Zealand to make a fifty-plus score in the innings until the close of play on Day two.
Brief scores: New Zealand: Kane Williamson 104 (205), Glenn Phillips 42 (62), Daryl Mitchell 41 (54) vs Bangladesh: Taijul Islam 7/89, Nayeem Hasan 1/61, Shoriful Islam 1/44. (ANI)