Taylor, bowlers headline New Zealand's day of dominance



Ross Taylor struck a double century to give New Zealand a big lead

Ross Taylor struck a double century to give New Zealand a big lead © AFP

Ross Taylor composed a quickfire double hundred while Trent Boult picked up a couple of scalps late in the day as New Zealand inched closer to sealing the three-match Test series against Bangladesh. At stumps on Day 4, the tourists were precariously-placed at 80 for 3, still adrift by 141 runs.

After conceding a substantial first innings lead of 221, the Bangladesh camp would have hoped for a solid start. Unfortunately, Boult jagged one back off the pitch in the very first over to sneak through Tamim Iqbal’s defences. It wasn’t bowled with an upright seam, but the considerable amount of grass on the pitch helped the pacer to extract appreciable movement.

Shadman Islam, his batting partner, also found it difficult to negotiate the movement on offer. However, for a while, he seemed to have waded through the initial phase as he cracked sublime drives and punches. At the other end, New Zealand kept chipping away at the batting order with Boult adding to his tally by removing Mominul Haque.

At the fag end of the day, Bangladesh suffered a massive jolt when Shadman tried to pull a pacy delivery from Matt Henry but could only edge it behind. It was a just reward for the paceman who has bowled well without much luck in this Test. Mohammad Mithun and Soumya Sarkar then survived a few anxious moments to guide Bangladesh to close of play.

While New Zealand’s pacers hogged the limelight during the latter part of the final session, Ross Taylor’s enterprising batting was the highlight of the first two sessions of the day. As Day 4 commenced, Taylor opted to take on Bangladesh’s pace duo of Ebadat Hossain and Abu Jayed in order to disrupt their lengths. However, the veteran batsman also had the rub of the green going his way.

Early on in the day, he almost chopped Eabadat Hossain onto the stumps. It was in the very next over when Bangladesh fluffed two chances and that proved to be the decisive moment of the Test. Jayed was the unlucky bowler and on both occasions, Taylor was given reprieves. Jayed forced an uppish drive off the first ball of the over only for the fielder at cover to put down a sitter.

To make matters worse, just two ball later, Shadman Islam dropped a chance in the slip cordon. Those two grassed chances also perhaps affected the discipline of Hossain and Jayed as they lost the plot and struggled to find their rhythm. Mustafizur Rahman, the third seamer, also couldn’t plug the runs. Taylor, in particular, took advantage of some ordinary bowling by cracking a few crunchy cuts.

Just when it seemed as if the visitors would go wicketless in the morning session, Kane Williamson (74) eked out a leading edge off Taijul Islam to offer a return catch. Taylor, though, continued to play with authority and composed his hundred by clubbing Taijul for a six.

After the break, Taylor stitched another massive stand of 216 with Henry Nicholls (107) to stamp New Zealand’s dominance. Eventually, New Zealand declared their innings soon after both Taylor and Nicholls reached their respective milestones. Bangladesh had their consolation moment when Nicholls and Taylor fell to Taijul and Mustafizur after completing their landmarks.

With appreciable movement on offer, the New Zealand pacers would be confident of running through the cream of the batting order and clinch the rubber. The only point of concern for the home team is Williamson’s injury. The New Zealand captain, who picked up a shoulder injury while fielding on Day 3, underwent scans on his shoulder and also took painkillers during his stay at the crease. He didn’t take the field in the second innings with Tim Southee captaining the side.

Brief scores: Bangladesh 211 (Tamim Iqbal 74; Neil Wagner 4-28, Trent Boult 3-38) and 79/3 (Mohammad Mithun 25*; Trent Boult 2-34) trail New Zealand 432/6 decl. (Ross Taylor 200, Henry Nicholls 107; Abu Jayed 3-94) by 161 runs.

© Cricbuzz


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