16 Jan 2017

Black Caps chasing victory on final day

10:33 am on 16 January 2017

The Black Caps are confident they can force a result on the final day of the first test against Bangladesh in Wellington.

New Zealand celebrate a wicket.

New Zealand celebrate a wicket. Photo: Photosport

The tourists will resume on 66 for 3 in their second innings with a 122 run lead and New Zealand still to bat again.

The match had looked headed for a draw before three late wickets in yesterday's final session gave the hosts a sniff of an unlikely win.

Black Caps batsman Tom Latham believes victory is within their reach if they can take "two or three" quick wickets in today's first session at the Basin Reserve.

The tourists dismissed the Black Caps for 539 earlier on day four yesterday, 56 runs short of Bangladesh's mammoth first innings total of 595 for eight.

New Zealand then took three wickets late in the evening session when the tourists' opener, Imrul Kayes, retired hurt with what appeared to be a hamstring injury and was stretchered off the park.

Mitchell Santner extracted some turn from the grassy Basin Reserve pitch to bowl Tamim Iqbal for 25.

Mahmudullah was unlucky to feather a leg side delivery from Neil Wagner into the gloves of BJ Watling while on five.

Mehedi Hasan fell victim to Santner's athleticism in the field and was was run out for one from a direct hit thrown from long on.

Mitchell Santner.

Mitchell Santner. Photo: Photosport

At bat, the Black Caps applied themselves to the run chase with determination, but none more so than Tom Latham.

The 24-year-old's score of 177 was the highest by a New Zealand opener at the Basin reserve.

Allrounder Santner brought up his second Test half century while batting with the tail, followed by his highest Test score of 73.

Santner was clean bowled by Subashis Roy leaving Trent Boult the last man standing on four.

Neil Wagner valiantly survived a fearsome blow to the back of the helmet on his way to scoring 18 runs before he skyed a top edge to the keeper, Kayes, from the bowling of Kamrul Rabbi.

Rabbi was the best of the Bangladeshi bowlers taking three wickets for 87 runs off 26 overs.

Kamrul Islam Rabbi

Kamrul Islam Rabbi Photo: Photosport

Before the tea break, part-time off spinner Mahmudullah took two wickets in his first over to expose the New Zealand tail.

His first delivery, a shockingly wide long hop, dismissed Watling who was on 49.

Rather than claiming the extras, Watling reached and spun and somehow manged to get an edge on the ball that the keeper Kayes had scurried almost to leg slip to collect.

BJ Watling can't believe he was dismissed by such a poor delivery.

BJ Watling can't believe he was dismissed by such a poor delivery. Photo: Photosport

Southee was Mahmudullah's next victim, rapped on the back leg plum in front of middle stump for one.

Why Southee called for a review is probably a less important question than asking why he continues to bat at number nine.

Tom Latham departs the Basin Reserve.

Tom Latham departs the Basin Reserve. Photo: Photosport

Latham resumed his innings this morning on 119 and brought up 150 as his batting partner Henry Nicholls notched his third Test half century.

Before lunch, Nicholls was caught on 53 from the bowling of Shakib Al Hasan, bringing the allrounder Colin de Grandhomme to the middle for a 16 ball cameo.

De Grandhomme bludgeoned a six and a four to reach 14 before he was caught behind unnecessarily flailing at pace bowler Subashis Roy.

Cooler heads were needed to help New Zealand avoid the follow-on.

Watling watchfully prodded 16 runs before lunch as Latham was trapped LBW by Taskin Ahmed attempting his trademark, sweep shot defence of spin bowling.

The opener faced 329 deliveries and struck 18 fours and one six to ensure Bangladesh batted again.

Tom Latham calls no.

Tom Latham calls no. Photo: Photosport

Weather threatened to delay today's pivotal first session in the first Test but the covers came off at the Basin Reserve on schedule.

Yesterday Latham scored his sixth test century, helping New Zealand to a steady 292 for three in reply to Bangladesh's huge first innings total of 595 for eight declared.

Veteran Ross Taylor was impressed with Latham's mental fortitude.

"He batted outstandingly well. To go out there with that new ball was always going to be one of the hardest periods to bat," said Taylor.

"It isn't an easy place to open the batting, for him to come out and bat as positively as he did, took a lot of pressure off the incoming batsman. Still his job's not done yet, we need him to go big tomorrow and try and get that follow on. Hopefully we can bat ourselves into a decent position."

Taylor said it was refreshing to have an opening batsman who was showing some consistency.

"For a while, probably apart from Mark Richardson, we've been to-ing and fro-ing with a lot of openers over the last little while.

"Tom's the one who's put his hand up and he's one of the first picks. Anytime you have a very good opener, especially in our conditions and opener and a number three are very important.

"Obviously we have a world class number 3 in Kane Williamson and we've got a consistent opener in Tom Latham, who's still very young but he's earning his stripes in the team and he's one of our leaders."

Taylor said the first hour with the new ball today would be crucial.

"Test cricket's a funny game and sessions can dictate a whole five day Test so that first session's going to be important and if we can see off that new ball, pass the follow-on. There's a little bit of weather around, still 190 overs is a lot of cricket to be played. Hopefully we can have a good first session."

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