Bangladesh have stunned the former World Test Champions (WTC) New Zealand in the opening game of the series in Sylhet as they registered a 150-run victory on day 5. The home side started the final day requiring 3 wickets and left-arm spinner Taijul Islam took 2 out of 3 wickets to finish with 6 as Bangladesh won only their 2nd Test against the Kiwis.
Bangladesh delivered a stronger than expected batting performance after winning an important toss as Mahmudul Hasan Joy's 86, followed by crucial contributions from Najmul Hossain Shanto and Mominul Haque led the hosts to a first-innings total of 310.
Kane Williamson's century gives New Zealand a slender lead:
With the spinning track bringing Bangladesh's bowlers into the equation, experienced batter Kane Williamson dug it out in the middle. The former New Zealand shared three half-century partnerships with Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, and Glenn Phillips to take the tourists to 317.
By hitting his 29th Test century, Williamson also equalled former Australian great Don Bradman's tally. Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam finished with 4 wickets, while part-time spinner Mominul Haque took outstanding figures of 3.5-1-4-3.
Najmul Hossain Shanto leads Bangladesh's strong reply:
After Bangladesh openers' early departure in the 2nd innings, stand-in captain Shanto scored a gritty hundred and also got great support from Haque and Mushfiqur Rahim. Shanto, who made a 198-ball 105, added 90 with Haque and 98 with Rahim. Mehidy Hasan Miraz also followed with a crucial half-century as Ajaz Patel's four-for kept Bangladesh to 331.
The pitch spun more when the Kiwis came out in pursuit of 332 and regularly kept losing wickets and found themselves at 113-7 by Stumps on day 4. A lot rested on Daryl Mitchell heading to day 5, but Miraz broke his resistance 6 overs after the right-hander reached his half-century.
Visiting captain Tim Southee and Ish Sodhi did strike some lusty blows, but Taijul completed the inevitable, with the latter becoming the last man to be dismissed. He finished with 10 wickets in the match as Bangladesh surged to No.2 in the WTC 2023-25 points table.
It is also Bangladesh's 2nd Test win over New Zealand, the first of which came at Mount Maunganui in 2022.