My second article was published in the December 2013 edition of the Asian World, a monthly newspaper based in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
Bangladesh v New Zealand
21-25 October 2013
Second Test, Mirpur
Bangladesh: 282 and 269-3
New Zealand: 437
Persistent rainfall throughout the Second Test steered Bangladesh and New Zealand towards a disappointing and frustrating conclusion in Mirpur, as the series ended 0-0.
Looking to build on their encouraging performance in the First Test, the Tigers decided to bat first with Tamim Iqbal leading the charge. The Bangladeshi opener was the top scorer of the first innings with 95 off 153 balls, collecting 17 fours in an impressive individual display. Although Marshall Ayub (41) and Mominul Haque (47) narrowly missed out on half-centuries, Bangladesh were eventually dismissed for 282.
New Zealand responded strongly through a maiden Test century from Corey Anderson, the 22-year-old blasting 13 fours and 2 sixes in a superb 116 off 173. Supporting knocks from BJ Watling (70 not out), Kane Williamson (62), Ish Sodhi (58) and Ross Taylor (53) boosted the total to 437, providing the visitors with an important advantage in the match. The Bangladeshi bowlers struggled to make their mark, despite the noteworthy efforts of their all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan who managed to complete his tenth five-wicket haul. It was evident that the home side were faced with a difficult task as they prepared for their second innings.
New Zealand’s Neil Wagner successfully nullified any potential threats early on by removing the likes of Anamul Haque and Marshall Ayub. However, Tamim Iqbal replied with a patient 70 off 218 deliveries and established an excellent 157-run partnership with Mominul Haque, who maintained his tremendous form with a second successive century – striking 16 fours in an unbeaten 126 from 225. Bangladesh had set a new record – this was their highest third-wicket partnership in Tests. As Shakib Al Hasan chipped in with a solid 32 and remained at the crease with Mominul Haque, Bangladesh’s dominance with the bat ensured New Zealand were handed a challenging proposition going into the final day.
It was an impressive reaction from the Tigers which demonstrated a high level of discipline and maturity, particularly when they have been culpable for throwing away wickets in the third innings of Test matches. When the fifth day arrived, both teams were deprived of any action due to rain as the match came to a close. Bangladesh can walk away with their heads held high after drawing a Test series against a side ranked higher than them in the rankings. Mominul Haque was named both man of the match and the series.