Bangladesh v NZ, 1st Test, Chittagong, 4th day October 12, 2013

Unresponsive pitch frustrates Boult, Gazi


New Zealand ended the fourth day of the first Test with an 85-run lead, but an unresponsive pitch meant Trent Boult and his fellow seamers endured another difficult outing - the second in a row. The placid surface, the shower that forced an early finish and the poor weather forecast for Sunday have drastically reduced the probability of a result in Chittagong.

"It's very tough out there," Boult said after Bangladesh amassed 501 in their first innings. "It is a flat surface and pretty unresponsive. The ball tended to scuff up quite quickly as well, so the new ball was very important, but it very testing as a seam bowler specifically." Boult managed to dismiss Tamim Iqbal last evening to reach 50 Test wickets, and trapped Abdur Razzak lbw in the morning session.

New Zealand will look to increase their lead substantially before giving Bangladesh a crack at a target but given their cautious start - Peter Fulton and Kane Williamson took nearly 25 overs to add 69 runs - and the time already lost due to rain, prospects of a result have dipped considerably.

Boult disagreed, though: "I think we have a lot of batting to do, [put together a] couple of partnerships. The final session got called off with rain but we can't get too far ahead of ourselves. We have to get a few more runs and see what happens from there. It's a good opportunity for some good cricket to be played. I can definitely see a result if that happens. Hopefully the weather stays away."

Sohag Gazi, who made his maiden Test century, he pointed out the difficulty faced by the bowlers on a docile pitch. "We will try to win the match by getting them all out as quick as we can. But having said that, the wicket has offered no help, so if a batsman decides to play straight, it is hard to get him out. We will try to apply pressure through dot balls."

Given their near-perfect Test record against Bangladesh, one might have expected New Zealand to be more aggressive in the second innings but Hamish Rutherford, with 32 off 45 balls, was the only batsman who had a strike-rate over 50. The Bangladesh spinners kept things tight, and captain Mushfiqur Rahim gave only five overs to his seamers.

Gazi, Shakib Al Hasan and Abdur Razzak used the crease well to create different angles for the batsman but the lack of spin was frustrating. Shakib, in search for turn, switched to over the wicket, but the ones he hoped to turn across Fulton and Williamson, continued straight and sometimes past the wicketkeeper.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • harun on October 13, 2013, 5:01 GMT

    Bangladesh need to make very bouncy pitches like India!LOL you see when india make flat pitches and their batsmans scores 100s to 300s we call it class. But when it comes to BD the same indian would come and advice us to make pitches like Aus, Eng etc!!! when India lose 4-0 against Eng its ok but when BD lose 2-0 tha BD's test status get questioned!? double standard!!!

  • john on October 13, 2013, 3:43 GMT

    It must be hard being a pace bowler for nz in recent years, flats tracks everywhere.Even the home seris against england had this how minows play test cricket these days?..give the batsmen a fighting chance..both sides wont to get off the bottom of the rankings, cant happen with draws..

  • David on October 13, 2013, 1:39 GMT

    If the pitch was deliberately prepared flat, then it has really backfired for Bangladesh. Their slow bowlers have completely outperformed NZ's, and their batsman have been more tenacious too (unlike many of the kiwis who threw their wickets away). NZ quicks have been impressive but pretty unlucky it must be said. Bottom line is if Bangladesh want more teams to tour, they really need to do better with regard to preparing a competitive surface.

  • Dummy4 on October 12, 2013, 23:38 GMT

    banglas should get smart and prepare there pitches to their advantage. They obviously have better spinners. They could easily win on a turner that goes from day one. Bruce Martin is a joke that has to stop for mind and Sodhi is too inexperienced to make much of an impact.

  • Dummy4 on October 12, 2013, 23:28 GMT

    Getting a result requires both teams to play ball on this kind of pitch. If Bangladesh really backed themselves to win they could have declared behind when they lost their 8th wicket and let NZ post a total for them to chase on Day 5. They have also used defensive fields with sweepers when their spinners have been bowling, not a particularly aggressive approach. When NZ tried to accelerate on Day 1 and early on Day 2 they lost wickets. The pitch just isn't conducive to a result. Congratulations to Bangladesh for their first innings batting though. Their batting looks much stronger than their bowling on this pitch.

  • Dummy4 on October 12, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    The wicket in Mirpur will be a lot livelier. Our curators are still learning the art of making wickets. If the weather doesn't get foul, there will be a result in Mirpur for sure. If the rains hadn't arrived in Chattagong, who knows what would be the outcome of the current match. A few quick wickets could change things drastically; or a flurry of boundaries by the Kiwis would allow them to declare early on Sunday and hope for a win. So its not the pitch. The rain is mainly to blame.

  • Geoff on October 12, 2013, 18:54 GMT

    I think NZ would do well to accept reality and ensure they get a draw out of this game. Step two is a long hard rethink about the composition of the team for the next game.

  • Farhan on October 12, 2013, 17:11 GMT

    So far Bangladeshi bowlers have done better than NZ bowlers. If the pitch assist them they'd have had a chance to win but unfortunately this pitch has nothing for bowler :/

  • Jay on October 12, 2013, 16:53 GMT

    Pitches in Bangladesh will never be like the ones in SA, AUS , and ENG. So I don't know what is all this fuss the Kiwis are making. When you come to the subcontinent you must be ready to play on 2 types of surfaces: slow, low turners OR dead flat highways. This is the same with India, Pakistan, and SL too. This is why test cricket will be dead in the next few years, at least in ASIA. The surfaces don't provide for a quick resolution and if both teams play well enough, draws are the likely results. This test is headed towards a draw. This is why I find test cricket so disgusting and meaningless. After toiling for 5 days, this is what everyone gets = a silly draw. Glad and proud to be a ODI and T20 fan.

  • Rahul on October 12, 2013, 16:41 GMT

    This is what BD can do to avoid defeat against NZ

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