Skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto’s unbeaten century places Bangladesh in a commanding position against New Zealand at the end of Day 3 in the first Test at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Thursday.
The tailenders of New Zealand, Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee, frustrated the Bangladesh bowlers for the initial 17 overs of the day, gradually building a lead of 44 runs. Left-arm orthodox played a crucial role in ending New Zealand’s innings by dismissing both set batters, Southee (23) and Jamieson (35), in a single over, limiting New Zealand’s first innings to 317. Despite their struggles, Southee and Jamieson’s efforts allowed New Zealand to secure a narrow 7-run lead over the hosts. Bangladesh’s openers, Zakir Hasan and Mahmudul Hasan Joy, initiated the second innings with an aggressive approach, quickly erasing the lead in the first two overs. However, New Zealand’s pacers regained control, restricting Bangladesh to a slower scoring rate in the subsequent overs. In the first session’s 7 overs, Bangladesh managed just one run per over, a significant drop from their initial run rate of 3.33 in the first three overs, concluding the first session with a score of 19/0.
The second session witnessed Ajaz Patel dismissing Zakir Hasan (17), and a moment of brilliance in the field from Southee led to Mahmudul’s dismissal for 8(46). Skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto took charge, showcasing remarkable strokes with the bat alongside Mominul Haque. The duo crafted a 90-run partnership, dominated by Shanto as the primary run contributor.
The only wicket in the second session came from a runout, with Tom Blundell and Henry Nicholls combining forces to dismiss Haque for 40(68). Mushfiqur Rahim joined Shanto to ensure Bangladesh concluded the day without further wickets. Shanto celebrated a well-deserved century in the final over of the day, but deteriorating light conditions prompted the umpires to deem it unfit to continue the game.