A line you don't hear often, but New Zealand should look forward to the visit of Bangladesh next month.

Bangladesh's victory over England today was a stellar achievement, and no more than the ninth-ranked nation deserve, having had the first test in Chittagong within reach, only to fall 23 runs short.

But there was no mistake at the second chance, ripping out 10 English wickets for 64 in a session (sound familiar) to record a 108-run win at Mirpur to give them a series-levelling win, and the most significant result in their 16-year test history.

Bangladesh have won eight of their 95 tests but dig a little deeper and you find more significance about this win.


The previous seven were against Zimbabwe (five times) and the West Indies, in the Caribbean twice. They had to endure 31 losses and three draws before their first win over Zimbabwe in Chittagong in 2005.

Now consider they have won four of their last 10 tests, and lost just two.
Time was when the New Zealand public took visits by Bangladesh with a jar of salt.

They were cannon fodder. Five of the eight were by an innings, but expect them to give New Zealand some serious cheek when they arrive shortly before Christmas.

The pitches won't be as much to their liking as those at home, as should be expected, but they are an improving cricket nation, and now they have a talismanic young spinner on whom there will be enormous pressure to lead them to more success.

Mehedi Hasan Miraz, a 19-year-old orthodox offspinner, took 12 wickets for 159 to spin Bangladesh to victory in Mirpur, having taken six for 80 on his test debut a week earlier in Chittagong.

In two tests he took 19 wickets at 15.63. He gives the ball a good rip and might become the most interesting spinner out of the sub-continent since Muttiah Muralitharan started bamboozling batsmen with his freakish delivery a couple of decades ago.

30 Oct, 2016 9:00pm
4 minutes to read

England captain Alistair Cook, while bemoaning his team's inability to cope with quality spin in a spin bowling environment, gave due credit.

"It's very easy sitting back and saying 'it's just Bangladesh' but in these conditions, on spinning wickets, their bowlers are good," Cook said. "I know (Mehedi) isn't experienced, but he's a very good bowler and he's experienced in these conditions.

"Conditions have been very tough, but I have no complaints about it: that's what test cricket is about. Bangladesh thoroughly deserved their win. They've obviously taken big strides. They'll find it hard on bouncy wickets, but in these conditions they've a good side."

New Zealand know all about trying to cope with challenging spin.

Bangladesh won't find the help they did at home when they get to New Zealand.

But Mehedi is the latest find to sit along impressive bowlers such as Shakib al Hasan and Taijul Islam, and batsmen including Tamim Iqbal (average 40 in 44 tests, with eight hundreds) and Mominul Haque (average 51.66 in 19 tests, with two of four tons against New Zealand in 2013) while allrounder Haasan has 159 wickets and a batting average of 39.05 in 44 tests).

England are off to India shortly for a five-test series. Cook admitted his team are "inexperienced" in the conditions and don't have world class spinners. That sounds like getting an excuse or two in early.

Bangladesh start with the first of three ODIs in Christchurch on Boxing Day with three T20s to follow and the tests are in Wellington and Christchurch in mid-January.