Bangladesh reach 100, lose two wickets in first session

Najmul mistimed a full-toss delivery by occasional spinner Glenn Philips and got caught at the mid-on.
Shamsul Hoque

Bangladesh would be pleased to see 100 runs on the board but two wickets also kept the balance after the intriguing first session of their first Test of the two-match series on Wednesday at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.

New captain Najmul Hossain decided to bat first after winning the toss and the session could be well signified by the mode of two dismissals- one with one of the best deliveries while the other coming perhaps from the worst one.

Early in the morning Bangladesh openers Mahmudul Hasan and Zakir Hassan negotiated two visiting pacers Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson with classic Test match patience. Tall Jamieson got some bounce while skipper Southee got slight movements but the batters survived their first spells despite some plays and misses which could easily induce edges.

However, things became different when Aijaz Patel, the left-arm spinner, was introduced. Bangladesh batters tried to score a few runs freely but the spinner delivered one of the finest balls at the hour mark.

Aijaz was mostly pitching the ball up and the batters were playing them in the front foot as the ball already started spinning in the very first hour of the Test match. But the 35-year-old spinner, who once claimed 10 wickets in a Test innings in India, bowled one a bit short and induced a sharp turn.

Zakir Hossain is walking back to pavilion
Shamsul Hoque

Zakir tried to ball from the backfoot having seen the length but completely failed to negotiate the outrageous spin that went through the gate of his bat and pad and disturbed the timber. Bangladesh reduced to 39-1 as Zakir was out for 12.

Having assessed the situation, Najmul, who had a torrid World Cup, started charging up from the beginning. He got off the mark with a six, the first Bangladeshi to do so at a captaincy debut, and started playing some big shots against dangerman Aijaz.

Najmul struck two more sixes and two fours to blunt Aijaz a little bit while Mahmudul stood solid in the other end against pacers and spinners alike.

Just when the pair looked very solid, New Zealand brought on occasional spinner Glenn Philips into the attack at the last half an hour of the session.

In his second over Philips bowled a full-toss but Najmul, who already came down the track, completely mistimed his big whack and got caught at the mid-on. Kane Williamson held a good high catch under the sun to remove Najmul for a well-made 37 off just 35 balls as Bangladesh were reduced to 92-2.

Zakir (42) and Mominul (three) saw off the remaining overs before lunch.

Bangladesh are fielding a rather inexperienced side with few young players and 21-year batter Shahadat Hossain making his debut.

Both the team commences their new cycle of World Test Championship with this match.