Kane Williamson’s second Test double-century hauled New Zealand to 715/6 – their highest total ever – and left Bangladesh with an improbable 481-run deficit to shave off in the first Test in Hamilton.
By stumps on Saturday, 2 March, New Zealand had taken firm strides towards an innings win, nipping out four Bangladesh wickets. The visitors ended on 174, still trailing by 307 runs.
While Williamson was the immovable object, Neil Wagner in the morning, and Colin de Grandhomme after lunch, lit up Seddon Park with boundary-laden assaults. In all, New Zealand pillaged 264 runs in 45 overs on the third day.
Wagner launched this manic day with a languid drive through mid-off against Khaled Ahmed. A hat-trick of fours against Ebadat Hossain in the next over showed that he had already moved into the next gear. Like Wagner on the first day, Hossain tried to go short, but the deliveries just didn’t have the same menace.
Williamson brought up his 20th Test century in the next over, with a neat tuck off the hips behind square leg, and went past 6000 Test runs shortly thereafter. Wagner launched Ahmed into the grass banks two balls later, and just like that, New Zealand had collected 32 runs in four overs.
Hardly any restraint was shown. Wagner was unsparing in his assault. A sequence of six, four and six in Ahmed’s next over powered New Zealand past 500, before a square-cut attempt against Hossain resulted in a nick to the 'keeper.
BJ Watling was more sedate for his 31 that took 67 balls; that his 96-run stand with Williamson still came at over four an over spoke of the ease of New Zealand’s progress. Watling fell on what turned out to be the last ball of the morning session, when he tried to flick a length ball from Mehidy Hasan and sent a thin edge to Liton Das behind the stumps.
The only respite Bangladesh had came in the form of the interval itself, as the post-lunch session marked the most brutal stretch of the New Zealand innings. Colin de Grandhomme, who can’t ever get enough of flexing his muscles, showered the boundaries at Seddon Park with four fours and five sixes.
Kane Williamson becomes the 4th New Zealand batsman to score 6,000 Test runs; joining @SPFleming7, @RossLTaylor & @Bazmccullum— Fox Sports Lab (@FoxSportsLab) March 2, 2019
Williamson is the fastest New Zealand batsman to score 6,000 Test runs; 126 innings #NZvBAN #BACKTHEBLACKCAPS 🇳🇿 pic.twitter.com/d51D76TnM7
After marking his territory with a pick-up shot over the backward square leg boundary, de Grandhomme got down to business. His second six gave Hasan his double hundred – the bowler went for 246 runs in 49 overs – but de Grandhomme wasn’t done with that, picking him apart for three fours later, the second of which burst through the hands of long-on, where Mohammad Mithun dropped a sitter. De Grandhomme was on 39 then.
Williamson, meanwhile, collected two superbly-timed fours off Ahmed to move towards 190, shortly after which de Grandhomme brought up a 38-ball fifty. Three more sixes from him in the space of six balls took New Zealand past 700 for the first time. Williamson then pulled Jayed behind square for his double-century, and declared.
The Williamson-de Grandhomme stand brought 110 runs off just 91 balls. All of Bangladesh’s bowlers were left bruised, but none more so than Hasan, who had the worst Test figures ever for a Bangladesh bowler.
Things looked up after a very long time for Bangladesh when, as in the first innings, they began brightly with the bat. Tamim Iqbal, the first-innings centurion, put on 88 for the first wicket with Shadman Islam. But after 163 overs on the field, Bangladesh were in for an uphill task to keep it together for prolonged periods. Islam’s dismissal – to another short ball from Wagner – opened them up.
Trent Boult struck twice in the span of two overs, first finding the edge of Mominul Haque, which was held sharply by Ross Taylor at slip, and then drawing a wild drive, well away from the body, from Mithun, for a comfortable catch to Williamson.
Iqbal, as in the first innings, was aggressive, racing to 74 off 85 balls, with 12 fours and a six, before falling in bizarre fashion to a short ball from Tim Southee. Having walked outside his leg stump, Iqbal changed his mind late and decided to duck, but left the bat hanging up, allowing the ball to shave the top of it and lob towards Watling.
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