Bangladesh 137-6 at lunch on day 5, 1st test vs. New Zealand

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) A head injury suffered by Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim overshadowed action in the pre-lunch session on the final day of the first cricket test against New Zealand, just as the match was heading for a thrilling finish.

Mushfiqur was taken to hospital by ambulance after being struck in the helmet by a bouncer from New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee. Team medical staff and paramedics worked on Mushfiqur for 20 minutes as he lay motionless on the ground near the crease before he was transported by ambulance to a nearby Wellington hospital.

His condition was not immediately known but a Bangladesh team member said he had been taken to hospital for observation.

Mushfiqur, who was on 13 runs at the time he was struck in the 43rd over, about 45 minutes before lunch, was already batting with a broken finger and leading Bangladesh’s effort to save a test it had dominated by almost four days.

He is the second Bangladesh batsman to be taken to hospital by ambulance in this innings; opening batsman Imrul Kayes was stretchered from the field on Thursday with a leg injury.

Kayes, 24 not out when he retired hurt, was padded up and is likely to bat with the aid of runner when the next Bangladesh wicket falls.

Bangladesh went to lunch at 137-6, leading New Zealand by 193 runs with two sessions remaining. Sabbir Rahman had taken up the challenge to save the test for Bangladesh and was 40 not out at lunch while Kamrul Islam has yet to score.

Bangladesh had seemingly been in control of the match when it made 595-8 declared in its first innings after losing to the toss and being sent in. It held a 56-run first innings lead after dismissing New Zealand on Sunday for 539.

But the tourists lost three wickets in the last half hour of play on the fourth day to go to stumps at 66-3. It then found itself in a desperate battle to save the match when it lost two more wickets in the first half hour on Monday.

The visitors’ position could have been even more difficult but New Zealand spilled three catches before lunch. Mushfiqur was put down first by Southee at leg gully off Neil Wagner when he was six and Sabbir was 17 when Trent Boult dropped a sharp return catch from his own bowling.

New Zealand was still able to make early inroads into the Bangladesh middle order. Shakib Al Hasan, who made 217 in the first innings – the highest score by a Bangladesh batsman in tests – departed without scoring Monday and before Bangladesh had added to its overnight score.

He played a loose shot to spinner Mitchell Santner, swinging across the line and slicing a catch to Kane Williamson at mid-on.

Mominul Haque was 23 when he playe at a ball from Wagner which was short and wide of off stump and slashed it to Colin de Grandhomme at gully.

Taskin Ahmed, on debut, was dropped by Tom Latham at short leg off Boult when he was five but the miss wasn’t costly as Taskin was bowled by Boult next ball.

Sabbir had a nervous moment two balls before lunch when he was adjudged caught behind by wicketkeeper B.J. Watling off Southee. Bangladesh called for a review and the decision was overturned when replays showed the ball had taken the arm guard and not the glove.