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October 18, 2008
If Jacob Oram made up for New Zealand's batting failures in the first two ODIs of the Bangladesh tour, it was their captain Daniel Vettori who had to rescue his team in the first Test in Chittagong, a job he said isn't finished yet.
New Zealand are trailing by 90 runs in the first innings with one wicket left, and Vettori hoped to add a few more on the third day. "There is still a lot of time left in this game," he said. "If [last man] Iain O'Brien and I can put on another 20-30 runs and bowl exceptionally well in the second innings then we will be up for a run-chase. Bangladesh are definitely in control but we still have a chance to get back in this game."
Vettori's unbeaten 48 helped New Zealand from 100 for 7 to 155 for 9, after he took 5 for 59 in Bangladesh's innings. "I think the most important thing a captain can do is lead with performance and so far I have been able to do that," he said. "But our performance with the bat is a bit frustrating."
New Zealand's batsmen are largely inexperienced in subcontinent conditions but Vettori felt the collapse was more due to poor batting. "That probably played some part but overall we didn't play that well. Some of the options we took were very poor and that allowed Shakib [Al Hasan] and the other Bangladesh bowlers to bowl to their plan. The wicket did a little bit but not so much to put us in that position."
Vettori's five-for was overshadowed by another left-arm spinner. Shakib Al Hasan, who had only three wickets in six Tests prior to this one, ripped through New Zealand with a six-wicket haul. "He bowled exceptionally well," Vettori said. "His type of bowling is very well suited to this type of wicket. It's outstanding. He never bowled a bad ball and that's why he got six wickets."
With the pitch deteriorating, the spinners are expected to play a vital role - they took 14 out of 15 wickets on Saturday - and Vettori said they got more purchase with a newer ball. "I think it is more dependent on how you use the bowlers," he said. "As the day grows and the ball gets older it dies a little bit. We found that when we were bowling. I think Bangladesh were at their most dangerous early on with both [Abdur] Razzak and Shakib bowling with the newish ball. As the day went on I was out there and it didn't seem to be turning that much. I guess it gets easier the longer you bat but that's the same anywhere in the world."
Shakib said the pitch was yet to show signs of uneven bounce, but said there was turn and bounce for him. With one wicket left, Shakib has a chance of bettering Bangladesh's best bowling figures in a Test innings. Enamul Haque jnr holds the record with his 7 for 95 against Zimbabwe in 2005.
Pointing out that Oram was the most important among his scalps, Shakib said his best moment of the day was the stunning catch he took at midwicket to dismiss Jeetan Patel off the last ball of the day. He said the team wasn't thinking about what would be a formidable target to set New Zealand yet. If Bangladesh do build on the advantage gained today, it could set them up for their second Test win.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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