The first Test against New Zealand may be over by the time fans in Bangladesh wake up and turn on their television sets today if the Tigers keep batting the way they have so far in the game.
After New Zealand declared the first innings on 715 for six -- their highest-ever total in a Test innings courtesy of captain Kane Williamson's unbeaten 200 -- Bangladesh ended the third day on 174, trailing by 307 runs with six wickets remaining at the Seddon Park in Hamilton yesterday.
Bangladesh have struggled throughout the Test, surrendering meekly for 234 runs in the first innings. And they are on the brink of another batting collapse in the second innings. The Tigers' only hope to get something out of this seemingly lost cause would be if the two overnight batsmen -- Soumya Sarkar (39) and stand-in skipper Mahmudullah Riyad (15) -- play sensibly for as long as they can to restore some pride, the only likely takeaway from the game. Should the two fall, the tail would be exposed with only two recognised batsmen in the lineup -- Liton Das and Mehedi Hasan Miraz -- remaining.
There were a number of records made yesterday but almost all of those milestones just added to Bangladesh's woes. The fact that the Kiwis registered their highest-ever Test total is probably what hurt the Tigers most as a team. However, all-rounder Mehedi Hasan Miraz secured an individual record he most likely would have liked to avoid. Mehedi conceded 246 runs for two wickets in 49 overs with an economy rate of 5.02, the worst by any bowler bowling for 45 overs or more in the longest format of the game.
Bangladesh will begin day four with a mountain to climb and to make matters worse, if the pitch assists bowlers more on the last two days, as predicted by the ground's head curator Karl Johnson, then chances are that the Tigers will not see day five.