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Openers lead Bangladesh comeback on second day

Iqbal's score was the largest by a Bangladesh batsmen against New Zealand, eclipsing Mohammad Ashraful's 69.

cricket Updated: Jan 05, 2008 12:20 IST

Debut openers Tamim Iqbal and Zunaed Siddique led a Bangladesh resurgence on the second day of the first cricket Test on Saturday, building a record partnership to cut into New Zealand's 220-run first innings lead.

After being dismissed for 137 in its first innings, Bangladesh reached 148 without loss in its second by stumps with Iqbal - who made a half-century on Friday - 73 not out and Siddique 68 not out.

Iqbal's score was the largest by a Bangladesh batsmen against New Zealand, eclipsing Mohammad Ashraful's 69.

The openers, who are among three new caps in the Bangladesh team for the nation's 50th Test, now own the record for the largest partnership by a Bangladeshi opening pair against all opponents, beating the previous record of 132.

They are closing on the Bangladesh record for all wickets, standing at 186, after cutting New Zealand's overall lead to only 72 runs at stumps.

Earlier, Matthew Bell made 107 and Jacob Oram 117 to lead New Zealand to 357 in its first innings which seemed to give the home side an imposing hold on the match.

The Bangladesh openers set about loosening that hold, taking advantage of perfect batting conditions to give their team hope of saving the match.

A total of 347 runs were scored on Saturday for the loss of only six wickets as batsmen seized the initiative bowlers who had taken 14 wickets at a cost of 293 runs on the Test's first day.