At Mirpur, October 21-25, 2013. Drawn. Toss: Bangladesh. Test debut: Al-Amin Hossain.
The series was on the line heading into the final day, with Bangladesh 114 ahead and seven wickets in hand. A draw was the likeliest outcome, but the fifth day of Tests in Asia have been known to spring the odd surprise. New Zealand said they were confident of chasing anything. But incessant rain meant not a single ball was bowled; even the post match presentation had to take place indoors. Bangladesh emerged the happier, given their history of vulnerability in the second innings. They began it 155 behind but, for once, didn't buckle.
New Zealand brought in Wagner as a fourth seamer in place of left-arm spinner Bruce Martin, who had looked ordinary at Chittagong. It meant they fielded three left-arm seamers (the others were Boult and Anderson) in a Test for the first time; leg-spinner Ish Sodhi completed an unorthodox attack. The change worked: Wagner, who had toured Bangladesh with a South African academy team in 2007-08, bowled with heart, and bagged his first five-wicket haul for his adopted country.
Bangladesh had bargained for more than 282 after winning the toss. Reasonably placed at the end of the first day, they lost their last five for 36 next morning, as their old inability to bat time resurfaced: other than Tamim Iqbal, no one stayed longer than 80 minutes. Tamim himself was dropped on five and ten, both times off Bracewell behind the wicket. But his luck ran out on 95 when, after a game of cat-and-mouse with Williamson in the gully, he was cramped up by Wagner, and Williamson took a superb diving catch.
Tamim is known for his flamboyance, and often castigated when it verges on the reckless. But in the second innings he ground it out according to the team's needs. Wagner reduced Bangladesh to 55 for two with a day and a half remaining, and the New Zealanders smelled victory. Tamim stood firm, and found an ally in the in-form Mominul, who helped add 157, a Bangladesh record for the third wicket. Once again it took a superb catch, onehanded by Taylor above his head at slip, to oust Tamim, on 70 from 218 balls - his slowest 50-plus score. Two near-misses extended his century drought to 23 innings since his annus mirabilis in England in 2010. But Tamim did stick around long enough to watch Mominul complete back-to-back hundreds, thus emulating his own feat. With Mominul on 99, McCullum packed the off side, asking his bowlers to tempt the young left-hander outside off stump, and even got in his ear. No matter: 12 balls later, he bashed Wagner over his head for four.
New Zealand's commanding position had been built on an unflashy 140-run stand between Williamson and Anderson for the fifth wicket. Williamson had retired hurt on 27 when he was struck on the grille by Rubel Hossain, drawing blood, but he returned a few overs later at the fall of McCullum's wicket, and crossed 50 for the third innings in a row. Anderson, meanwhile, never went long without a boundary, and achieved his maiden Test
hundred in his debut series. Shakib Al Hasan, who had been a shadow of himself at Chittagong after a long injury lay-off, came into his own with his tenth five-wicket haul in Tests - but his figures betrayed the limpness of his team-mates.
Man of the Match: Mominul Haque. Man of the Series: Mominul Haque.