Spinners drag Bangladesh back into contest as Kiwis teeter on 55-5

MIRPUR - Spinners Mehidy Hasan and Taijul Islam shared five wickets between them to help Bangladesh claw their way back into con­tention with New Zealand struggling at 55-5 in Wednesday’s opener to the sec­ond Test. An astonishing 15 wickets fell in the first day’s play in Dhaka, with the hosts all out for just 172 in an innings where Mushfiqur Rahim became just the second batsman in Test history to be dis­missed for obstructing the field. Mehidy and Taijul then cut a swathe through New Zealand in the final session before bad light prompted an early finish. 

Mehidy scalped Devon Conway (11), Kane Williamson (13) and Tom Blundell (0) in between Taijul’s dismissal of Tom Latham (4) and Henry Nicholls (1) to obliterate the tourists’ early advantage. Daryl Mitchell was batting on 12 along­side Glenn Phillips on five when stumps were drawn at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, with nine overs remaining. 

Mitchell Santner and Phillips earlier took 3-65 and 3-31 respectively after the hosts opted to bat, while Ajaz Patel claimed 2-54. Mushfiqur top-scored with 35 after Ban­gladesh opted to bat, help­ing the hosts recover from a dismal 47-4. But he then suf­fered a rare dismissal in the second session when, after defending a delivery from Kyle Jamieson in the 41st over, he instinctively swat­ted the ball away with his hand. NZ appealed and tele­vision umpire Ahsan Raza declared Mushfiqur out. 

Mushfiqur’s out would have previously been con­sidered a ‘handled the ball’ dismissal, but a change in the laws in 2017 brought the category under ‘obstructing the field’. His 57-run partnership with Shahadat Hossain had helped the hosts recover from the spin demolition of their top or­der by Santner and Patel. 

But after Mushfiqur returned to the pa­vilion, Phillips dismissed Shahadat (31) and Nurul Hasan (seven) to put Bangla­desh into further trouble. Santner took the wicket of Mehidy, who made 20 before edging a catch at slip. Phillips grabbed his third wicket, trapping Taijul Islam lbw for six before Tim Southee snared the last wicket of Shoriful Islam for 10. Southee did not concede a run in his 5.5 overs. Ear­lier, Zakir Hasan and Mahmudul Hasan put on 29 runs in the opening stand before a disastrous five overs saw Bangladesh lose four wickets for just 18 runs. Bangladesh are chasing a first-ever Test series win over the New Zealand after their 150-run victory in Sylhet last week.

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