Williamson stars as New Zealand beat Bangladesh by seven wickets

Wellington, Jan 16 (IANS) Kane Williamsons unbeaten 104 helped New Zealand script a remarkable seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh on the final day of the first cricket Test match at the Basin Reserve here on Monday.

Chasing 217 in a maximum of 48 overs, after Bangladesh was dismissed for 160 in its second innings, New Zealand reached the target in 39.4 overs to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series, according to an ICC release.

Bangladesh started the day on 66 for 3 after Mehedi Hasan Miraz had run himself out on the last ball of the penultimate day.

Shakib Al Hasan, who had made a Bangladesh-record 217 in the first innings, could not replicate those heroics this time around, becoming the first wicket to fall on the fifth day morning.

He offered an easy catch off Mitchell Santner to Williamson at mid-on to go for a duck and open the floodgates.

Mominul Haque was the next to go, as Bangladesh became 96 for 5. The visiting side then received a major blow in the 43rd over when Mushfiqur Rahim, the captain, was felled by a bouncer from Tim Southee and had to retire hurt on 13.

He had to take an X-Ray, which fortunately showed no evidence of significant harm, but he could not come out to bat again.

Sabbir Rahman waged a lone battle with a patient 50, but lacked support. Rahman was the eighth wicket to fall when he was caught behind off Trent Boult in the 56th over.

Imrul Kayes, the opener, who had retired hurt on the fourth evening, came back to bat at the fall of the seventh wicket, and remained unbeaten on 36 as Bangladesh’s innings ended in 57.5 overs.

Boult finished with figures of 3 for 53, while Santner and Neil Wagner picked up two wickets each.

New Zealand started its chase steadily with a 32-run opening stand between Tom Latham and Jeet Raval.

Miraz, who opened the bowling, removed the pair in consecutive overs as New Zealand became 39 for 2 in 11.2 overs.

Tom Latham’s 177 had been instrumental in New Zealand crossing the 500-run mark in the first innings and also earned him the Man of the Match award, but he made only 16 in the second innings. However, Williamson and Taylor took care of the chase.

They batted with intent, aiming to score off every available opportunity. While Williamson was his usual self, Taylor would have been pleased with his 60 in his first international assignment after undergoing surgery in his left eye.

Mark Taylor hit six fours in his 77-ball knock before Miraz took a sharp catch at second slip, but by then New Zealand needed only 15 runs.

The focus then shifted to Williamson’s impending century. He reached there with a boundary off Miraz in the 89th ball of his innings, and then took a single to end the game.