WELLINGTON: A double ton from Ross Taylor and three quick Bangladesh wickets Monday put New Zealand in a prime position to pull off an exceptional victory in the rain-shortened second Test in Wellington.
At stumps on day four at Basin Reserve, where the first two days were washed out, Bangladesh were hurting at 80 for three, still 141 from making New Zealand bat again.
“We didn’t play the first two days. If the result goes against us, we will feel bad,” Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal said.
Taylor, dropped twice on 20, proceeded to punish the Bangladesh attack with a rollicking 200 from 212 balls before New Zealand declared at 432 for six.
He said he was determined to make the most of his two lives but it took a while to realise 200 was on the cards.
“If you’d told me that at the start of the day, especially how the first 10 overs went, I would have said ‘you’re kidding’,” he said.
“I thought ‘well my luck’s got to change sooner or later let’s make it pay’.
“The game situation, being a three-day Test, we had to be a bit more proactive and score quickly and try first of all to get a lead and try to build it up as quick as possible to give our bowlers a bit of a chance.”
Bangladesh made a disastrous start to their second innings when Tamim, their leading run-scorer, was out for four.
Mominul Haque followed for 10 and Shadman Islam for 29 leaving Mohammad Mithun on 25 with Soumya Sarkar not out 12.
– ‘It is hurting us’ –
Tamim said letting Taylor off the hook early really hurt.
“It was sad that we dropped catches of someone, twice in the same over, who went to hit a double-hundred,” he said.
“They ended up scoring five an over. It is hurting us.”
New Zealand piled on 394 runs in 73 overs on Monday before sending Bangladesh back in for 23 overs before stumps.
Taylor clouted Taijul Islam for six over the long-on boundary to bring up his century which took him past his mentor, the late Martin Crowe, to become New Zealand’s second most prolific century-maker with 18, two behind Kane Williamson.
He put on 172 with Williamson for the third wicket and then 216 with Henry Nicholls for the fourth.
But after reaching 200 for the third time in his career, and raising his bat in salute, he was dismissed from the next ball he faced, caught behind off Mustafizur.
Williamson, who batted with a painful shoulder injury, made it through to 74 before he was dismissed and taken for a scan which proved inconclusive. He will have a second scan on Tuesday morning.
Nicholls swept Taijul Islam to the boundary to bring up his fifth century in the second over after tea, but only faced another seven deliveries before Taijul bowled him for 107.
Mahmudullah had varied his attack as best he could but for most of the day Taylor, Nicholls and Williamson had an answer for every move.
Apart from the two dropped catches off Abu Jayed in the third over, the raw Bangladesh seamers, with only 17 Tests between, them were unable to make full use of the green strip.
When they failed to make inroads, spinners Taijul and Mominul Haque were called on to stem the run flow.
Although Taijul removed Williamson and Nicholls, his two wickets cost 99 runs.