Record stand lifts Bangladesh as New Zealand fade in first test
WELLINGTON – Shakib Al Hasan stroked the highest individual score for Bangladesh and combined with Mushfiqur Rahim in a record partnership on the second day of the first test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve on Friday.
Shakib (217) and captain Mushfiqur (159) stubbornly denied New Zealand in perfect conditions at the Basin Reserve as they produced a 359-run fifth-wicket partnership and batted their side into a position where they are unlikely to lose the game.
The previous highest partnership for any wicket for Bangladesh was the 312 by Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes for the first wicket against Pakistan at Khulna in April, 2015.
Shakib brought up his double century, just the third by a Bangladeshi batsman, when he punched a Colin de Grandhomme delivery behind square for his 30th boundary, then surpassed Tamim’s record score of 206 with a push for a single to mid-off.
A weary Shakib eventually chopped a Neil Wagner delivery on about 15 minutes before the close of play before the visitors ended the day on 542 for seven, with Sabbir Rahman 10 not out after Mehedi Hasan was caught off the last ball for a duck.
Thursday’s first day was disrupted by regular bouts of rain and then bad light, with the visitors laying a solid foundation of 154-3 after being asked to bat on a green-tinged pitch.
Shakib was on five when play resumed on Friday with Mominul Haque on 64. Mominul, however, did not add to his overnight score when he was caught by wicketkeeper BJ Watling off Tim Southee to reduce the visitors to 160-4, though that was New Zealand’s only success until late in the final session.
Both Shakib and Mushfiqur brought up their centuries before tea, with the former tucking a Wagner delivery off his legs for a single and the latter guiding a Southee ball down to third man for his 17th boundary.
Shakib had a let off on 137 when he appeared to have been caught by a diving Watling down the leg side, but television replays showed the ball had momentarily touched the ground as the wicketkeeper landed and the batsman was recalled.
He was also dropped by a diving Ross Taylor at backward point on 189 from Trent Boult, who eventually ended the pair’s stand about 40 minutes before stumps when he had Mushfiqur caught behind by Watling. Bangladesh’s previous record for the fifth wicket was 267 that Mushfiqur and Mohammad Ashraful scored against Sri Lanka in Galle in March, 2013. -Reuters