Cricket: Rays of hope in Dhaka contest

By David Leggat

Wicketkeeper BJ Watling made his second test hundred, 103, in a notable performance. Photo  /Getty Images
Wicketkeeper BJ Watling made his second test hundred, 103, in a notable performance. Photo /Getty Images

The drawn second test left New Zealand's test series with Bangladesh unsatisfactorily all square.

Still, there were positives to come out of the test at the Shere Bangla Stadium in Dhaka.

Bangladesh, after all, are no slugs in their own backyard, and in young batsman Mominul Haque, with hundreds in each test, they had the individual batting star of the rubber.

Five New Zealand players in particular can look back on the tests with considerable pleasure.

New Zealand scored three hundreds in the series.

Kane Williamson hit a 114, 74 double at Chittagong, his fourth test century, and third on the sub-continent. He followed that with a patient and painful 62 at Dhaka, courtesy of a thudding blow on his helmet grille trying to avoid a Rubel Hossain bouncer.

Wicketkeeper BJ Watling made his second test hundred, 103. He got better as he went along, and marshalled a strong late revival, in which 187 runs came for the last three wickets.

That included a 127-run stand with last man Trent Boult.

Watling's unbeaten 70 at Dhaka reinforced his value in the No 7 role with the bat. A bad drop at the start of Bangladesh's first innings showed more work is needed on his keeping.

Corey Anderson's maiden hundred, 116, in just his second test, at Dhaka was a huge confidence booster for the young allrounder. His measured approach, particularly early on, was impressive and suggested a pleasing maturity and recognition of the match situation.

He'll have stiffer assignments, but his foot is well and truly in the door.

Legspinner Ish Sodhi showed his potential. There were three wickets on debut in Chittagong, an impressive half century in Dhaka and turn and bounce from his high action.

Neil Wagner's best test figures, five for 64, were the high point of New Zealand's bowling effort. Wagner has now taken 31 wickets in his nine tests - 26 in his last six - and looks set to be an integral part for the home campaigns against the West Indies and India.

- NZ Herald

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