New Zealand's Bell takes toll of Bangladesh
Celebrating his recall, Bell gathered runs with ease while the rest of the top order failed to fire.cricket Updated: Jan 04, 2008 13:48 IST
Comeback opener Mathew Bell carried New Zealand to a 19-run first innings lead with six wickets in hand on the first day of the first cricket Test against Bangladesh here today.
With Bell unbeaten on 74, New Zealand were 156 for four at stumps after Chris Martin and Jacob Oram had spearheaded an attack which saw the youthful Bangladeshis dismissed in their first innings for 137 on an easy wicket.
Celebrating his recall to the Test side after six years in the wilderness, Bell gathered runs with ease while the rest of the top order failed to fire in what has become a regular pattern for New Zealand in recent Tests.
Fellow opener Craig Cumming was out for one, Peter Fulton and Stephen Fleming both made 14 and Mathew Sinclair 29.
With the fall of Fleming, New Zealand were 58 for three before Sinclair came to the crease to join Bell in a 73-run partnership.
All-rounder Oram, who was not out 17, partnered Bell through to the close.
Bangladeshi left-arm bowler Sajidul Islam, making his Test debut at age 19, finished the day with two for 42.
With his eighth ball he had Cumming caught leg before wicket and later took the prized scalp of Fleming when the former New Zealand captain edged a ball straight to wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim.
Earlier, Martin ripped apart the Bangladesh top order batsmen with four for 64, and Oram quelled the middle-order with three for 23 after New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori won the toss and chose to bowl first.
Martin and Oram were both at one stage sitting on hat-tricks as the Bangladesh batsmen struggled on a pitch which had no hidden demons.
Only 18-year-old debutant opener Tamim Iqbal offered any resistance, batting through the first session for 41 as Bangladesh went to lunch at 88 for four.
But his stubborn stand came to an end at 53 soon after the resumption of play when he became Martin's fourth victim, fending off a rising delivery and sending straight to Fulton at second slip.
Before lunch, Martin dismissed Habibul Bashar and Mohammad Ashraful with successive balls before Shahriar Nafees blocked the next delivery.
In the afternoon session, Oram bowled Mashrafe Mortaza for 22 and had Shahadat Hossain caught by McCullum with the next ball before Sajidul Islam avoided the hat-trick.
Bangladesh were 88 for four at lunch and all out just before the scheduled tea break.