Second Test in balance after rain halts play in New Zealand
CHRISTCHURCH – Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan grabbed three middle-order wickets in quick succession before rain brought an early close to the second day of the second Test against New Zealand at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Saturday.
New Zealand were 260 for seven when rain forced the players off the field about 50 minutes before the end of scheduled play, still 29 runs behind Bangladesh’s first innings of 289.
Tim Southee, who took five wickets to help dismiss the visitors in the final five minutes of play on Friday, was on four, while Henry Nicholls was 56 not out.
The hosts had begun their innings on Saturday with Jeet Raval and Tom Latham putting on 45 runs for the first wicket, before Kamrul Islam took two wickets in the same over.
Kamrul bowled Raval for 16 then had the prized wicket of captain Kane Williamson (two), caught by wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan with a delivery that swung away and seamed off the pitch two balls later.
Ross Taylor and Latham (68), however, then began to rebuild the innings with a 106-run partnership, and the left-handed opener brought up his 12th Test half century with two runs after punching through the offside.
Taylor then brought up his 27th Test half century as the pair looked well set to build on their partnership.
The 32-year-old then became the third New Zealander to surpass 6,000 Test runs when he punched off-spinner Mehedi Hasan square through point for three runs and moved past the 62 he needed to achieve the milestone.
Stephen Fleming (7,172) and Brendon McCullum (6453) are the only players ahead of Taylor, who looked set to join former mentor Martin Crowe on 17 Test centuries but was caught by substitute fielder Taijul Islam off Mehedi for 77.
Nicholls and Mitchell Santner (29) then combined for 75 runs before all-rounder Shakib struck, removing Santner lbw then bowling BJ Watling (one) and Colin de Grandhomme (nought) as the hosts lost three wickets for four runs.
New Zealand won the first Test on Wellington by seven wickets. -Reuters