Another day of ruing the missed chances
Bangladesh ended Day 2 of the first Test against New Zealand with their tail up at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium yesterday but were perhaps left to rue a few missed opportunities which could have put them in total control of the match.
Najmul Hossain Shanto and Co reduced the visitors to eight down for 266, 44 runs away from Bangladesh's 310-run first innings total.
The Tigers would consider taking eight Kiwi wickets as a win but things could have been better for the hosts who let a few chances slip away, two of which gave centurion Kane Williamson reprieves.
Unsurprisingly, the premier Kiwi batter did what good players do. Not only did Williamson keep a collapse at bay but also made the hosts pay as he capitalised on those missed opportunities to get to his 29th Test ton, displaying in the process why the 33-year-old is amongst the best in the business.
Bangladesh's left-arm spinner Taijul Islam was the pick of the bowlers on the day as he returned four wickets for 89 runs from his 30 overs. However, the 31-year-old was at fault for letting Williamson off the hook when he dropped the right-handed batter on 63 at midwicket in the 49th over of the innings. A major inroad could have been made as Tom Blundell, who was batting at naught having faced just five deliveries at the other end, would then have to rebuild the innings from a precarious position which would have seen the Kiwis lose five for 165.
Ten overs later, pacer Shoriful Islam misjudged the trajectory of the ball to make Williamson breathe a sigh of relief once again. This time he was on 70 and New Zealand had just lost Blundell with 186 on the board.
Shoriful could consider himself unfortunate in another case prior to this when the players behind the stumps failed to ascertain whether Daryl Mitchell, batting on four, had nicked it while trying to slash a wide one. They were not convinced enough to go for a review but were left to rue when replays of Snicko showed a spike.
Had those chances been cashed in on, Bangladesh could have had New Zealand reeling six down, fighting to evade the scare of being skittled out for under 200 or 250 -- something that would have changed the entire scenario of the game with the Tigers getting a considerable lead.
Fourteen of the 18 wickets that have fallen in the match so far have gone to spinners. The wicket has accommodated spinners adequately as all of them have managed to extract sharp turns.
But Williamson's vigilant stay at the crease that saw him churn out a testing ton proves that a batter too can get rewarded for his steel and resolve.
However, the wicket is expected to dry up further, meaning batting would only get more challenging in the third and fourth innings, with both teams to impose a trial by spin.
In such situations, it is only safe to presume that the final two innings of the game could see small totals and Bangladesh, who already failed to capitalise on good starts in their first innings, might go on to rue yesterday's missed chances as well in a game that seems to be headed towards a close finish.