About the Match
Bangladesh finally declared their innings at 595 for 8 to try and knock over New Zealand as fast as possible. The hosts showed that there were still no demons in the pitch though on another day where the bat totally dominated the call.
Day 4 Preview
There were a lot of Bangladesh supporters that were hoping their team might declare overnight and try to go for wicket straight away but their team clearly felt they needed more runs. That lost first hour could prove to be costly, although, there is no evidence yet that the balance between bat and ball will be restored in this match anytime soon.
New Zealand ended the day 305 runs adrift with the unflappable Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls on the crease. The hosts still have seven wickets in hand and have batted with a lot of care so far. Things could have been different though if Bangladesh caught everything that came their way.
Taskin Ahmed had a catch dropped in his first over, Shakib-Al-Hasan dropped one at third slip and there were two half chances that went to ground near the end of day’s play. On a wicket where wickets have been very hard to come by, ever opportunity must be taken for a visiting team to even think of victory.
Bangladesh bowlers were not the biggest threat the New Zealand would have faced but they stuck to their lines pretty well for the most part of it. Taskin got some nice swing and nip of the surface while Kamrul Islam Rabbi took the other two wickets.
Mehedi Hasan was going to have a tough task in front of him especially as he became the first spinner to open the bowling in the first innings of a test played in New Zealand. The teenager struggled to find control in searing wind and was ineffective against Latham in particular.
Still, he may be a threat to the lower order New Zealand batsmen that do not have the same footwork against spin.
Latham could go on to score a big hundred tomorrow, maybe even become the second double centurion of the game. We also think that Nicholls will reach the three-figure mark in this test. New Zealand has plenty of batting still left and they should be able to score in excess of 550 themselves.
So where does this match go from here? Three days are done and the first innings of the test match is not yet over. More importantly, the pitch actually seems to be getting better for batting rather than worse! The risk of weather taking away more time from the match can also not be ruled out.
We have some instances of test matches being won after a big first innings total but overhauling near 600 and then bowling Bangladesh out in a couple of sessions is a little too much to ask of New Zealand. The draw still looks imminent and only a New Zealand brain fade could change that equation in favor of Bangladesh