Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
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New Zealand 317 and 113 for 7 (Mitchell 44*, Sodhi 7*, Taijul 4-40) need another 219 runs to beat Bangladesh 310 and 338 (Shanto 105, Mushfiqur 67, Ajaz 4-148)
Taijul Islam led the Bangladesh spinners to put them on the verge of beating New Zealand in the Sylhet Test with three more wickets to take and an entire day left for it. New Zealand finished the day on 113 for 7, needing another 219 runs to win in their pursuit of 332, with an unbeaten Daryl Mitchell batting with the tail. It was the accuracy of the spinners on and around the off stump that caused huge trouble for New Zealand's batters. Taijul picked up four wickets while Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Nayeem Hasan took one each.
Taijul played the enforcer in Shakib Al Hasan's absence, removing Kane Williamson twice in the game, while also taking the wickets of Devon Conway, Tom Blundell and Kyle Jamieson in the second innings. Mehidy and Nayeem were the perfect foil, attacking the right-hand batters at the stumps and often using sharp turn to force close catches and lbw shouts. But it was the lone fast bowler Shoriful Islam who brought Bangladesh the early reward.
Shoriful had Tom Latham edging his pitched-up delivery that moved away slightly and Nurul Hasan dived low to his left to remove the opener for a duck. Williamson, who had scored his 29th Test hundred in the first innings, was going to be key to New Zealand's approach on the fourth day.
He lasted 24 balls as Taijul beat his inside edge on the forward prod, trapping him lbw for 11. Williamson took the review at the last moment, but he started walking towards the dressing room as soon as he saw the first replay on the big screen. Mehidy got into the act three overs later in his second spell, as Henry Nicholls top-edged a sweep to Nayeem for 2.
Taijul got New Zealand into further trouble when Devon Conway jabbed him to short leg off his pad and Shahadat Hossain completed a simple catch. Tom Blundell looked in trouble from the onset and didn't last too long either, edging the ball behind when he played one towards the leg side and the ball took his outside edge. Nurul Hasan took the catch this time, a tricky one given that the batter had turned his body towards midwicket too.
The collapse continued in the 35th over when Nayeem trapped Glenn Philips lbw for 12. The right-handed batter played back to a delivery that turned sharply back to his front leg, and Bangladesh got the wicket through a review. Kyle Jamieson became the third lbw victim when Taijul trapped him in front for 9.
Mehidy had earlier helped Bangladesh to a total of 338 with his fifth Test fifty. Although Bangladesh's day began with their captain Najmul Hossain Shanto getting caught down the leg side when his opposite number Tim Southee removed him in the second over of the day, with Shanto adding just one run to his overnight score of 104. Ish Sodhi trapped Shahadat lbw for 18, before Mehidy survived the first of several chances.
Shortly after the first-hour mark, Nicholls dived in from mid-off but one of the replay angles showed that the ball had touched the ground before Nicholls grabbed it. Mitchell dropped Mushfiqur Rahim at slip shortly afterwards too, also off Ajaz Patel, but the bowler removed Mushfiqur next ball when the batter lunged forward, only to be hit on his front pad and fall for 67, a knock that had seven fours.
Mitchell later dropped Nurul, again at slip, but the bowler Philips struck in his next over, getting the batter caught and bowled for 10 as Bangladesh inched towards a 300-run lead. They got it just before the lunch break, but Nayeem fell in the second over after the break. Sodhi's googly did the trick to have him caught at short leg before Taijul gave Nicholls a simple catch at mid-on in the next over. Ajaz added a fourth to his name with Shoriful's wicket as Bangladesh set up a stiff target.
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