CHITTAGONG - Bangladesh's Sohag Gazi followed a maiden Test century with a hat-trick to light up the final stages of the first Test against New Zealand, which ended in a draw in Chittagong on Sunday.
The 22-year-old off-spinner had Corey Anderson leg-before, Bradley-John Watling caught behind and Doug Bracewell caught in the slips off successive balls at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium. Gazi's hat-trick, which gave him his sixth wicket in the innings, saw the Black Caps slump from 260-4 to 260-7 in their second knock after lunch on the fifth and final day.
The tourists declared the innings closed at 287-7, leaving Bangladesh a target of 256 runs in a minimum of 45 overs to win the Test and take the lead in the two-match series. The hosts showed no appetite to chase the stiff target and ended play on 173-3 in the 49th over, with Shakib Al Hasan unbeaten on 50 and newcomer Mominul Haque on 22.
Gazi, who hit an unbeaten 101 batting at number eight on Saturday, joined Alok Kapali as only the second Bangladesh bowler to claim a Test hat-trick. Kapali had achieved the feat against Pakistan in Peshawar in 2003 when he dismissed tailenders Shabbir Ahmed, Danish Kaneria and Umar Gul in three consecutive deliveries. "This was obviously a very good Test match for me, it has made me believe I belong to this level," said Gazi. "I will go into the next match with a lot of self-confidence."
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim said his team, ranked at the bottom of the table at number 10, dominated a major part of the match. "We were hungry to prove ourselves since we do not get many opportunities to play Tests," he said. "Our batting effort in the first innings was excellent. "Mominul's century on debut was very heartening, and one just can't praise Gazi enough. A hundred and a hat-trick in the same game is something one can only dream about."
New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum said it was a tough outing for the bowlers, but was pleased the batsmen showed good form, especially first-innings century-makers Watling and Kane Williamson. "The wicket was not an easy one but Watling was just outstanding and I was very happy the way Kane played. We look forward to putting up a better show in the second Test."
The draw loomed after New Zealand made 469 in their first innings and Bangladesh replied with 501 on a newly-laid pitch that provided no assistance to the bowlers.
Gazi, playing only his seventh Test, claimed all the six wickets to fall on the final day to finish with six for 77 in 26 overs. Bangladesh have yet to win a Test against New Zealand, having lost eight and drawn one of their nine previous matches against the Black Caps. The second Test will be played in Dhaka from October 21 to 25, followed by three one-day internationals and one Twenty20 match.
NEW ZEALAND 1ST INNINGS: 469
BANGLADESH 1ST INNINGS: 501
NEW ZEALAND 2ND INNINGS:
P Fulton lbw b Gazi 59
H Rutherford lbw b Nasir 32
K Williamson c Anamul b Gazi 74
R Taylor not out 54
B McCullum b Gazi 22
C Anderson lbw b Gazi 8
B Watling c Rahim b Gazi 0
D Bracewell c Shakib b Gazi 0
I Sodhi not out 22
EXTRAS: (b11, lb4, nb1) 16
TOTAL: (for 7 wickets decl, 90 overs) 287
FOW: 1-48, 2-149, 3-200, 4-250, 5-260, 6-260, 7-260
BOWLING: Razzak 32-5-116-0, Rubel 6-0-21-0, Gazi 26-4-77-6, Shakib 9-1-19-0, Nasir 9-4-20-1, Robiul 4-1-9-0, Mominul 4-0-10-0
BANGLADESH 2ND INNINGS:
Tamim Iqbal c Williamson b Martin 46
Anamul Haque c Anderson b Martin 18
Marshall Ayub lbw b Sodhi 31
Mominul Haque not out 22
Shakib Al Hasan not out 50
EXTRAS: (b2, nb4) 6
TOTAL: (for 3 wickets, 48.2 overs) 173
FOW: 1-39, 2-99, 3-101
BOWLING: Boult 4-1-9-0, Bracewell 5-0-14-0, Anderson 2-2-0-0, Williamson 10-3-24-0, Martin 16-4-62-2, Sodhi 10.2-1-57-1, Taylor 1-0-5-0
Toss: New Zealand