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Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Sports

Hamilton Test

Guptill, McCullum put Tigers to the sword

A terrific 339-run sixth-wicket stand between Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum put hosts New Zealand firmly in the driver's seat against Bangladesh on the second day of the one-off Test at Seddon Park in Hamilton yesterday.

Both batsmen came agonisingly close to maiden double-centuries, before falling to an inspired Rubel Hossain spell soon after drinks in the second session, and the Kiwis later declared with a massive total of 553 for seven.

Bangladesh started their innings in smashing form, with Tamim Iqbal looking comfortable against the New Zealand bowlers, but the visitors still face a mountain to climb as they reached 87 for one by stumps.

Guptill (189) and McCullum (185) had batted faultlessly until that point, scoring heavily on both sides of the pitch in the first session by making full use of a surface that had significantly improved for batting from Day One. The Bangladesh attack was unimaginative in the morning, continually bowling short with men back on the square boundary, even as the New Zealand batsmen picked the gaps between them with deft precision. Guptill exploited the short pitched bowling well, repeatedly flaying errant deliveries to the backward point fence, and brought up his maiden Test century from 188 balls early in the day. McCullum too, was especially brutal on the pull, heaving Shafiul Islam over the square leg boundary to bring up his fourth Test ton and his second against Bangladesh.

The batsmen continued to make merry in the morning, preying on lacklustre bowling and wearing down the opposition fielders with some slippery running between the wickets. McCullum was the first to reach 150, with Guptill following suit just before the break, after a spate of boundaries off the Bangladesh pacemen towards the end of the session.

Shakib Al Hasan's ploy to relax his aggressive field placings after lunch made for a more sedate start to the second session, in which a revitalised Bangladesh did well to dry up the boundaries for ninety-five consecutive deliveries. Guptill and McCullum had little trouble negotiating the second day pitch however, picking up the singles on offer and converting the ones into expertly judged, lightning speed twos.

A renewed Rubel, in his first spell of the afternoon, was to be their eventual demise, dismissing McCullum first with a fuller delivery before inducing a top edge from Guptill a few overs later to pick up his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests. By the time the mammoth partnership ended, the duo had broken the record for highest sixth-wicket partnership for New Zealand, missing out on the world record by 12 runs, while McCullum's 185 was the highest by a New Zealand wicketkeeper. Daryl Tuffey and Jeetan Patel then came out playing shots and boosted the hosts total to an utterly dominant 553 for 7 until the declaration came on the stroke of tea.

Tamim and Imrul Kayes began at a breakneck pace for Bangladesh in the evening session before Daniel Vettori brought himself into the attack to cut the opening stand short, at 79. Tamim in particular took the New Zealand pacemen to task, bringing up his fourth Test half-century in just 39 deliveries. He ended the day unbeaten on 56 when bad light stopped play, in an innings that featured 10 boundaries, leaving Bangladesh on 87 for 1. The tourists require their top order to cash in on a surface getting better for batting on the third day, in order to avoid a massive first innings deficit.

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Kiwis sting Tigers on Day Two.

Saleque Sufi

Stumps 2nd day: Bangladesh 87 for 1 (Tamim 56*) trail New Zealand 553 for 7 dec. (Guptill 189, McCullum 185, Rubel 5 for 166) by 466 runs

Bangladesh has to climb Mount Everest to try and save Hamilton test. Kiwis stung tigers in the eyes with massive first Innings score of 553/7 declared.

Records tumbled one after another as two brilliant Kiwis Guptill and McCullum toyed with lacklustre Bangladesh bowling to post 339 runs sixth wicket partnership to take New Zealand on the driving seat at stumps of second days play.Vittori declared the innings closed at 553/7 .Bangladesh needing 354 to make Kiwis bat again were 87/1 at stumps. The wicket at Seddon Park Hamilton which provided lot of assistance to Bangladeshi bowlers eased out to a batting paradise. But bowlers bowled too short or offered room for Guptill and McCullam to play their strokes. Both were in complete command and runs flowed like fountain water in the prelaunch session. Both batsmen were approaching maiden double hundred .But suddenly an inspired spell of fast bowling from young Rubel Hussain in the second hour of the second session broke their dreams. But nevertheless the pair created new New Zealand record for sixth wicket. They fell only 12 runs short of world record. Saquib should have attacked Kiwi n batsmen more in the first session. But the bowlers kept on bowling short with fielding set mostly to protect boundaries. Both Guptill and McCullam played several flamboyant strokes on both side of the wicket. Bangladeshi bowlers appeared hopeless too contain onslaughts. Guptill exploited the short pitched bowling well, repeatedly blasting errant deliveries to the backward point fence, and brought up his maiden Test century from 188 balls early in the day. McCullum too, was brutal on the pull, heaving Shafiul Islam over the square leg boundary to bring up his fourth Test ton and his second against Bangladesh.

McCullum raced to reach 150, with Guptill following suit just before the break, after a spate of boundaries off the Bangladesh pacemen towards the end of the session. Guptill and McCullum found the second day pitch much to their liking .They milked the bowling whenever they liked picking up the singles on offer and converting the ones into expertly judged, lightning speed twos. Rubel was in fire in t his first spell of the afternoon when he accounted for both centurions. But not before McCullam broke the highest test score of Kiwi Wicket keeper. He dismissed McCullam with a fuller deliver at 185.He struck 17 fours and 3 massive sixes .Rubel also induced Guptill to a top edge which Musfiqur grabbed.Guptill scored 189.But by that time damage was done .Tuffey and Patel added further 28 runs in unbroken 8th wicket stand before Vittori declared the innings closed at 553/7.Rube; l grabbed his first 5 wicket haul.

Saquib should have continued attacking .Well set batsmen can not be removed with defensive fielding. They can always milk the bowling and heaving occasional boundaries on loose ball. Perhaps Saquib is too young to understand field setting when counter attacked.

Bangladesh in effort to climb Mount Everest started in belligerent fashion.Tamim and Kayes attacked the Kiwi Bowlers.79 runs were scored by 13th over when Kayes got out to Vittori.Tamim scored a quick fire unbeaten 56 in 48 deliveries with 10 fours. Kayes got out scoring 28

The task of Bangladeshi batsmen is well cut out .Their immediate target would be to score another 267 runs to make New Zealand bat again. Two achieve that Bangladesh will definitely require at least two significant partnership of top order batsmen. Wicket is playing easy. If tigers bat sensibly with patience there is no reason why they should not post a good first innings score to get back into contest.Vittori and Patel has huge score to back up their spin bowling over longer spell. Bangladesh must not forget they are playing test not a T20 match and ODI. It is not essential to score a flamboyant 50 and throw out the wicket in gay cavalier fashion. All Bangladeshi batsmen must put a price for their wickets and make Kiwi Bowlers toil for those.

: Khondkar Saleque

 

 


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