DHAKA-Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam claimed a match haul of 10 wickets to bowl Bangladesh to a comprehensive 150-run victory against New Zealand in the opening Test in Sylhet on Saturday.
Chasing 332 for victory on a turning track, New Zealand headed into the final day on a precarious 113-7 against a spin-heavy Bangladesh attack on a dry and turning pitch. Overnight batter Daryl Mitchell (58) completed his fifty and skipper Tim Southee (34) staged a brief rearguard but Bangladesh needed 90 minutes on the final day to wrap up victory and go 1-0 up in the two-test series.
It was a memorable win for a depleted Bangladesh side missing several frontline players through injuries, including regular captain Shakib Al Hasan, against a full-strength New Zealand side. Taijul claimed 6-75 in the second innings and was the obvious choice for the player-of-the-match award. “We were not thinking about the result, we just followed our process,” stand-in Bangladesh skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto said after their first test win on home soil against New Zealand. “The job is half done, we still have a long way to go.”
Batting fourth on a turning track in the sub-continent counts among the game’s greatest challenges and New Zealand’s frontline batters failed the trial by spin on Friday. Only Mitchell had looked assured facing the spinners with a shoal of fielders around his bat and once his slog-sweep against Nayeem Hasan found Taijul at backward square, the game was all but over for New Zealand.
Taijul Islam, player of the match, gets a cheer as he collects the cheque from Shamim Chowdhury. He said: “I am pleased to represent my country. Ten-wicket haul has lifted my spirit. Winning confidently takes us in the right frame of mind. I needed support from my teammates, which I got while the thingsaregelling well.”
New Zealand Captain Tim Southee said: “I’m disappointed but credit to Bangladesh as they played well. Our bowling group needs to create pressure for longer, batters need to stitch more partnerships, be better for longer. It was a pretty good wicket. There was spin which was expected in this part of the world.
“We have a couple of days to work on a couple of things for Dhaka, which will be a different surface. Everyone’s striving to improve their game and that’s what we ask from our guys. Guys need to contribute all the way down, nice that Kyle and Ish did that,” he added.