StumpsNew Zealand 349 for 1 (Latham 186*, Conway 99*, Young 54, Shoriful 1-50) vs Bangladesh
New Zealand have bounced back from the Mount Maunganui reversal, and how! They made 349 for 1 on the first day of the second Test in Christchurch after being asked to bat, with Tom Latham leading the way with an unbeaten 186, his first century as captain. Devon Conway had another great day, though he might have a nervous night as he finished the day on 99. And Will Young, the only man to be dismissed, hit 54.
Latham and Conway have added 201 runs for the unbroken second wicket, following the 148-run stand between Young and Latham for the first wicket. It was the first hundred-plus stand for the opening wicket in the first innings in New Zealand since 2012. And they have already put on more runs than ever before for the first two wickets in a Test in New Zealand, topping West Indies' 289 in 2000.
The same Bangladesh bowling line-up that struck so regularly in the previous game, was pedestrian at best on the day as they conceded 44 boundaries in 90 overs. Ebadot Hossain, the star of the Mount Maunganui win, went wicketless in his 21 overs, conceding 114 runs. Shoriful Islam took the only wicket to fall. While Taskin Ahmed and Mehidy Hasan Miraz couldn't quite stem the run flow.
Latham had a field day driving, cutting and guiding the ball through the off-side. He struck 21 of his 29 fours through this area, looking particularly great whenever he had a bit of room. He was also quick on anything short, pulling the ball with ease.
Conway started with a beautiful cover-driven four off Mehidy, and towards the end of the day, blazed one through the covers off Taskin, highlights of his innings so far, which has already included ten fours and six.
During the last session, Latham reached his 150 off 199 balls, before moving to his highest score against Bangladesh, topping the 177 in Wellington in 2017. Conway, too, picked up pace but there was a semblance of control from Bangladesh as they used spin for an extended period.
Latham had reached his 12th Test century in the middle session to lead New Zealand's supremacy. They raised their run rate in the afternoon, scoring at 3.92, as opposed to the 3.53 in the first session. But Bangladesh had their chances, twice denied by the review and once by their own frailties.
Early in the first session, Latham overturned two lbw decisions off Ebadot in the same over. Then, in the first over of the second session, Litton Das dropped Young diving to his left from second slip, even though it seemed the ball would have carried to first slip. To make matters worse, the bowler, Ebadot, had to run all the way to the boundary to stop the resultant overthrow.
Ebadot's figures were further dented when there was another four overthrows in his next over. It underlined Bangladesh's enthusiasm, perhaps. But they did remove Young, caught off Shoriful at point. It was Young's third consecutive dismissal in the 50s.
Soon enough, Latham reached his fastest Test century, off 133 balls, to the applause from his wife, young son and father, who were all in the stands.
Bangladesh's poor luck started even before the toss, when they lost Mushfiqur Rahim to a groin injury. This is the first time in more than 12 years that they are playing a Test without Mushfiqur, Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah.