Razzak praises Boult's discipline
Abdur Razzak bowled 55 overs in his comeback Test innings, after which he was left having to defend Bangladesh's helplessness in the face of a tenth-wicket stand that forced them to do a lot more work than New Zealand's score of 342 for 9 had suggested was needed.
Trent Boult and BJ Watling added 127 runs, holding up the home side for nearly two-and-a-half hours, the latest example of a worrying trend. Since 2001, there have been 36 fifty-plus partnerships from the seventh wicket onward against Bangladesh, including seven century-run stands.
"Everyone thinks that such a last wicket partnership can be deflating," Razzak said. "But it doesn't really happen. Someone can play well, it is quite natural. During last year's West Indies series, Raju [Abul Hasan] got a century at No. 10. The wait for the opening batsmen is harder. They are tired after fielding more than 150 overs and as it is, batting second is always harder in a Test match."
Watling recorded his second century in Test cricket while Boult reached a maiden half-century and became the 15th No. 11 batsman to reach the landmark in Tests. Robiul Islam, who opened the bowling for Bangladesh, bowled only 13 overs in the innings. His new-ball partner Rubel Hossain didn't bowl a single yorker, focusing mainly on a shorter length after getting the wicket of Bruce Martin with a bouncer earlier in the day.
"You always just try to get blocks of ten runs at a time, try to weigh them down and then you just keep going," said Watling. "We played some good cricket and put them under pressure and I think we played with a lot of patience. It was great fun batting with Trent [Boult] out there. I thought he played extremely well. He waited for his ball and played some nice shots through the onside. We managed to put a good partnership together, which was pretty much needed because I think 400 is pretty much par on that wicket."
Watling handled Sohag Gazi well while Shakib Al Hasan, who bowled the most to the pair, was not at his best even against Boult, although he tried every line, angle and length.
Razzak bowled 16 wicketless overs at the pair, after which part-timer Mominul Haque finally dragged Watling out of the crease to end the innings. There were times when Tamim Iqbal and Anamul Haque looked visibly down as they saw a No. 11 score an unbeaten half-century and their troubles only grew when both got out cheaply in Bangladesh's first innings.
Razzak praised Boult for his patience, which he said is unlike the temperament of subcontinent tail-enders. Boult has, in fact, been involved in his third 50-plus partnership this year alone but this his personal best score in first-class and Test cricket.
"The last batsman [Trent Boult] didn't try to do anything. I think his first drive was after he had got to 27. Before that he had scored most of his runs through edges and nudges as he defended the ball," Razzak said. "The ball didn't turn as well, so it was quite easy to play the straight deliveries. Plus Watling was a set batsman, the sort that is hard to get out on this surface. We gave it our all but it took us a long time to get the wicket."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here