Against long odds, the Black Caps have given themselves a chance of a test victory.

After the first two days of the second test were washed out at the Basin Reserve in Wellington, a result seemed unlikely, and became even more implausible as the visitors waltzed to 119-1 after being sent in to bat on one of the greenest wickets ever seen in New Zealand.

By the end of the day though, the Black Caps were in the box seat. After Bangladesh collapsed to 211 all out, the hosts were at 38-2 in response when rain fell at 4.59pm, and with a brighter forecast set for the next two days, there is still enough time for them to manufacture an unexpected victory.

Despite losing their openers cheaply before stumps, the Black Caps should be happier with their efforts today. As well as needing a further 18 wickets, Bangladesh will need to bat again to win - practically impossible with just two days remaining.


On the other hand, if New Zealand bat well tomorrow, they can build a significant lead, and a chance for victory – something that did not seem possible after Trent Boult and Tim Southee had been easily negated by Bangladesh's opening pair of Tamim Iqbal and Shadman Islam.

Their 75-run stand defied what looked to be a bowling paradise. Logic dictated that all the Black Caps' seam spearheads needed to do was to pitch the ball up and they'd cause problems, but Bangladesh had the rub of the green; rewarded for playing aggressively.

Tamim reached 74 for the third consecutive innings, carving the seamers through and behind cover, and while Colin de Grandhomme got rid of Shadman, Bangladesh were set to get to lunch having lost just the solitary wicket.

Then, Neil Wagner did what Neil Wagner does.

Not introduced until the 31st over, and having split the webbing on his non-bowling hand while fielding, it seemed like it might not be Wagner's day. But, with traditional methods having failed, his trusty short ball approach once again proved an inspired weapon.

"I tried to pitch my first over up, and it went for 10 runs," Wagner laughed.

"So there wasn't much swing or sideways movement, and I wanted to make the most of the bounce that's in the surface at the moment."

His first two wickets came in remarkable circumstances. Both Mominul Haque and Mohammad Mithun had been given out to Wagner's short ball barrage, but successfully reviewed to survive. Yet, both batsmen met their demise the following ball after their let-off – Mominul strangled down the legside when trying to leave, and Mithun with an inside edge.


Mithun's wicket fell on the last ball before lunch, and Wagner continued his onslaught after the interval. As part of a 72-minute period where he and Matt Henry bowled unchanged, the pair managed to remove Bangladesh's three centurions from Hamilton, and, potentially, change the test.

Tamim and Mahmudullah were Wagner's victims, both trying to pull waist-high deliveries but ballooning simple catches to square leg, while Soumya Sarkar did the same to a ball from Henry, lobbing it high to BJ Watling behind the stumps.

From 119-1, Bangladesh had slumped to 168-6, and while Liton Das (33) hung around, the visitors have one of the worst tail orders in international cricket. Once the seventh wicket fell at 207, Boult could wrap up the innings in no time, and after just 61 overs, Bangladesh were dismissed for a mere 211.

Wagner put the Black Caps' fightback down to the bowlers - eventually - finding their right lines and lengths.

"It was quite gusty, obviously tough conditions. There wasn't a lot to offer, it didn't really swing around as much and it made tough work for the bowlers to get the ball in the right areas. Once we started doing that and putting pressure back on the Bangladeshis, we obviously got the wickets."

The scene looked set for the Black Caps to significantly cut into Bangladesh's first innings effort by the end of the day, but Abu Jayed had other ideas, removing Tom Latham and Jeet Raval to reduce the hosts to 8-2.

Then, after Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson saw off a tricky period, rain fell – and with an hour lost, it reduced the already slender time the Black Caps have to claim victory.

Yet, they have a serious chance, and that's more than many expected.