Tigers fall into their own trap
Bangladesh squandered a rare opportunity to win a Test series against a top side as the hosts got bested by New Zealand on a rank-turner in Mirpur, suffering a four-wicket defeat on Day Four of the second Test of the two-match series today.
On a day where 14 wickets fell in just 66.4 overs, a six-wicket haul from left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel followed by an unbroken 70-run stand for the seventh wicket between Glenn Phillips and Mitchell Santner earned the Kiwis a series-levelling victory.
After winning the first Test in Sylhet by 150 runs on a sporting wicket, Bangladesh laid out a spin trap for the Kiwis at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium with hopes of an elusive series triumph against the Black Caps.
However, the plan backfired as the host batters could not cope with the Kiwi attack in either innings, getting bowled out for 172 and 144, while player of the match Phillips played two crucial knocks to guide the visitors to a victory.
The defeat cost Bangladesh points in the ICC Test Championship and also a chance to register their maiden series triumph in the competition.
The match overall saw just 178.1 overs of action over the course three-and-a-half days after the entirety of Day Two and some sizable chunks of the first and third days got chopped off due to inclement weather brought about by the Cyclonic Storm Michuang.
The fourth day's play faced no such interruption as the match began on scheduled time.
The Bangladesh batters were seemingly inspired by Phillips' counter-attacking 87 off 72 balls in New Zealand's first innings as they tried to play positively against the Kiwi spinners from the onset.
While Zakir Hasan somewhat succeeded in this approach, the other batters failed miserably as Bangladesh lost their remaining eight wickets for just 106 runs.
New Zealand's left-arm spin duo of Ajaz and Santner continually pitched the ball on good areas and were rewarded for their persistence with four and three wickets respectively.
Bangladesh bowlers almost made a match out of defending a mere 137, reducing the Kiwis to 69-6.
But Phillips and Santner then joined hands and together squashed Bangladesh's hopes.
In hindsight, the decisive moment of the day came in the 23rd over when Najmul Hossain Shanto dropped Phillips on nought at slip off Mehedi Hasan Miraz.
Had Shanto held on to the tough chance, it could've been him lifting the trophy at the end of the day by himself. But instead, he had to share the honours with his Kiwi counterpart Tim Southee.