With only 40.2 overs possible on day one, Bangladesh reached 154 for 3 on the back of fifties from Tamim Iqbal and Mominul Haque during the first Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington today.
Mominul was unbeaten on 64 from 110 balls, and his enterprising knock contained 10 fours and a six. Shakib Al Hasan was giving the diminutive batter company with five runs to his name when play was called off for the day. Shakib was fortunate to survive a chance in the 40th over when Mitchell Santner dropped him at square leg of Neil Wagner.
The third wicket stand of 85 in 23.3 overs between Mominul and Mahmudullah Riyad came to an end when the hosts were desperate for a breakthrough. Mahmudullah slashed at a wide delivery long way away from his body and was caught behind for a patient 26.
Bangladesh were 119-2 after 29 overs against New Zealand before rain coupled with strong wind stopped play for the second time on the opening day of the first Test. Tea was called while the players were off the field. In trying conditions it is the kind of start that can be very inspiring for Bangladesh.
Mominul Haque was batting superbly along with a nervous Mahmudullah. The left-hander was on 48 and Mahmudullah Riyad on 13 when rain drove them to the dressing rooms, 18 overs after the first rain break in a very windy Basin Reserve.
Mominul moved within two runs of a composed fifty after he hit Tim Southee for two fours and a six in the 29th over. His first boundary was through the covers. The pocket-sized dynamo then hooked a rising delivery down the leg-side for a six and with it completed a 50-run partnership for the second wicket with Mahmudullah. The left-hander celebrated it with a sublime boundary through point. And it was at that moment the wind returned with more force along with that spraying rain. The bails were dislodged and the hat of the on-field umpire blown away, forcing them to run for cover.
Earlier in the morning session, the umpires had called for an early lunch after the first rain break after 11 overs of play. And when play resumed Tamim Iqbal completed a superb 50. He was out leg-before to a Trent Boult delivery after scoring 56 off 50 balls that contained 10 boundaries.
After losing his opening partner Imrul Kayes for one, who committed a cardinal sin when he hooked a rising delivery from Tim Southee straight into the throat of the fine leg fielder Boult, Tamim played with ease on the green top.
Tamim was very watchful against Southee, carefully negating his deliveries right on the money. The left-hander was harsh against anything wide outside the off-stump from Boult, who went for 26 runs off three overs in his first spell before being replaced by Colin de Grandhomme. Tamim hit five boundaries against the experienced left-arm pace bowler including an exquisite square drive followed by an imperious on-drive all along the carpet. The only discomforting moment for Tamim was when he played across the line against Grandhomme. It struck him on the pad but he survived the review taken by New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. The ball tracker showed it was not hitting enough of the leg stump for the not-out decision to be overturned. Tamim looked a bit edgy when Grandhomme bowled around the wicket, pushing the ball through the air into the batsman.
Mominul had a nervous start but looked comfortable after the first ball he faced from Southee. The pint-sized left-hander withdrew himself very late off the first ball he faced. And by the time he has decided not to play the ball, Southee was already into his delivery stride and eventually delivered it. It missed the off-stump by a whisker. Umpire Nigel Llong after a curious look called it a dead ball. Since then Mominul, who scored 181 at home against the Black Caps, looked comfortable apart from a few peaches from Southee that he somewhat evaded.
Williamson had earlier won the toss and did not give a second thought about bowling first at a very windy Basin Reserve. The win actually was blowing across the ground so forcefully it dislodged the stumps on a number of occasions. Although the sky was gloomy, rain actually was not pouring. It was more like an occasional spray. And according to a journalist based in Wellington the weather will remain the same until the third day of the Test when the sky will be clear.
The opening Test marked two Bangladeshi debutants in pace bowlers Taskin Ahmed and Subhashis Roy. Besides, off-spinner Mehedi Hasan also made kept his place in the playing eleven.
Bangladesh team: Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Mahmudullah Riyad, Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, Kamrul Islam Rabbi and Subhashis Roy.