Second Test

New Zealand v Bangladesh 2007-08

At Basin Reserve, Wellington, January 12, 13, 14, 2008. New Zealand won by an innings and 137 runs. Toss: New Zealand.

Normally, faced with a hard, lightly grassed pitch, Daniel Vettori would have batted first after winning the toss. However, after Bangladesh's poor showing in the First Test, when they displayed serious weaknesses against quickish bounce while the ball was new and the bowlers were fresh, Vettori decided to bowl first - and watched his seamers roll them over again, setting up another facile victory, one that was completed before lunch on the third day.

Martin bustled in with a 60mph wind behind him, and the batsmen were soon flicking and flirting with danger. Mohammad Ashraful got some in the middle of the bat, and Aftab Ahmed hung on grimly for 108 minutes - after 38 balls he had scored only two - but disaster was always just an edge away. Nine wickets were taken in the predatory cordon from wicketkeeper to widish gully: Mushfiqur Rahim, trapped in front by Martin, was the only exception.

The focus then switched to Fleming, New Zealand's former captain, who had never scored a Test century on his adopted home ground. But this was Fleming the struggler, not the old artist. He was dropped by Shahriar Nafees at mid-on from a witless slog when 61, hit his next three balls for four, but was then caught from another careless clout to midwicket for 87. Sinclair also had a charmed life as he ground out a ghoulish 47. Later Vettori - one of the few batsmen in the match whose bat seemed to have a middle - let rip, hitting 17 fours in his 94, five of them off successive legal balls from Sajidul Islam. He was dropped when 74 by his opposite number, Ashraful, who grassed a sitter at mid-on: New Zealand strolled to a lead of 250.

Bangladesh had one last chance to show that they were of international stature - but again they failed against the short-pitched ball. It was 51 for five by the end of the second day and, with Tamim Iqbal absent after breaking his thumb in dropping a slip catch, another wicket would probably have persuaded Vettori to claim the extra half-hour in a bid to wrap up a two-day victory. In the event, matters were not prolonged much into the third: only Shakib Al Hasan played with much determination on the last morning. His last-ditch stand of 30 with Mashrafe bin Mortaza was the highest of another miserable batting display.

Man of the Match: D. L. Vettori.

© Wisden Almanack