This was not the greatest of test matches, despite a handy array of subplots. And it should have been so much better. The advantage changed hands on several occasions and there were personal milestones all over the place. But in the end the pitch ground the match into submission.
Batting friendly surfaces are a blight on the modern game, and it was a shame to see Bangladesh footing it with the worst. It didn’t even turn.
Super Crowd Noises
OK, the crowds were not huge, and that is understandable, but the passion shown by the locals was impressive. Led by Bangladesh Super Hero guy, and what a stand-out he is, they maintained their enthusiasm and noise levels throughout. At one stage they even threatened to drown out Danny Morrison which is no mean feat.
The Future Captain climbs another rung
Kane Williamson is now confirming himself as one of New Zealand’s great players of spin. Three of his four test centuries have now been scored on the sub-continent, and he rarely looked troubled throughout. It took an astonishing catch to prevent him posting twin centuries here.
His bowling continues to improve too; both in terms of accuracy and action.
After all those years.
Bruce Martin’s test career, which finally got underway 12 years after being picked in a squad started so well earlier in the year. But since then it’s been a pretty steady slope. Here it became officially A Worry. All over the show in the first innings and just non-threatening in the second; it was the rate at which he was carted that was the worry. Despite these low conditions, it’s quite possible NZ may play an extra seamer next week.
What is it about Doug Bracewell, and where he puts his feet? This has got him into trouble in the past; either when being called for a match-changing no-ball when dismissing Ricky Ponting, or when cleaning up from a party. And here he did it again. This no-ball was not as costly as when the benefactor was the Angry Goblin, but there really are no excuses for it.
The Fulton Paradox
It seems completely counterintuitive but Peter Fulton is at his best when the ball is keeping low. It must be a long reach down, but from Eden Park to Chittagong that is when he is at his best. He may not be the sexiest watch at times, but his runs were vital.
Was Tim watching?
Trent Boult gave his provincial and national team-mate a bit of a lesson here. In batting. He made a career best 53* off 137 balls, and the best thing about it was the 137 balls bit. And the key lesson was that he spent the first 70 balls getting into double figure. Then, and only then, did he set about showing his six hitting skills.
Esoteric stat of the year award.
Cricket is a game of statistics, that’s part of its charm. But the accolades going to Sohad Gazi for becoming the first player ever to achieve the century and hat-trick in the same match made it seem like this was a double that people actually strived for. He was impressive though.
Esoteric stat of the year award II.
New Zealand became the first team to have ten different players hit a six in this test. The previous record was seven. Bloody Bruce Martin again….