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Mohammad Isam in Mirpur
October 22, 2013
Bangladesh allrounder Shakib Al Hasan, who took all three wickets to fall before rain stopped play on the second afternoon, has said that if Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson fell early on the third day, the probability of a Bangladesh lead could not be ruled out. New Zealand are still trailing by 175 runs in their first innings with seven wickets in hand.
Williamson, on 28 off 38 balls, had retired hurt after suffering a blow to the face off a Rubel Hossain bouncer in the 24th over. However, he returned to the crease seven overs later, when Brendon McCullum's fell. His partner Taylor had a far smoother innings and was unbeaten on 37.
"We have to take the wickets of the two batsmen at the crease," Shakib said. "They do have batsmen after this, but because one is the vice-captain and the other a senior player, it is very important to get their wickets as soon as possible.
"Everything is possible if we get them out early. Even 200 is a possibility. However if I speak realistically, then if we can keep them within 300, which is very much possible, it will be an evenly-matched contest."
Shakib was firm in his belief that a result was possible on this pitch. According to curator Gamini de Silva, it is expected to assist the spinners in the coming days, provided there was no further rain.
"I think if the next three days are played completely, there will be a result in this match," Shakib said. "I've head from the curator that the wicket will get more difficult as the day goes on. It should spin a lot more from day three, so in that case it will be more difficult for both the teams to score and there is a good possibility for a result."
Bangladesh had begun strongly, with the top order making useful contributions, but tactless shot selection allowed New Zealand back in the game by the end of the first day's play. Neil Wagner's maiden five-wicket haul ensured the advantage remained with his side as Bangladesh were bowled out for 282 on the second morning.
"There weren't too many batsmen remaining after Mushfiq bhai and Nasir got out", Shakib said. "The lower order had arrived so it wasn't possible to score too many runs. I didn't see too much of a problem [with our score]. On this wicket, 300-350 is a good score."
Shakib was happy with his own bowling but asked the rest of the attack to step up in order to give Bangladesh the upper hand. Slow left-armer Abdur Razzak struggled with his accuracy while Sohag Gazi's offspin was confidently dealt with by New Zealand's openers.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Mohammad Isam
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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