New Zealand beats Bangladesh by 7 wickets in 1st test

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) Kane Williamson made an unbeaten 104 and Ross Taylor chipped in with 60 as New Zealand completed a remarkable seven wicket win over Bangladesh in the first cricket test on Monday after the tourists suffered a last day batting collapse and lost their captain to a head injury that forced him to visit a nearby hospital for precautionary checks on his health.

After making a daunting first innings total of 595-8 declared, Bangladesh lost its grip on the match when it crumbled to be all out for 160 in its second innings, leaving New Zealand 217 to win from 57 overs.

After making a half century in the first innings, Williamson calmly reached his 15th test hundred in 89 balls and shared in a 163-run partnership with Taylor as New Zealand cruised to its target with 17 overs to spare.

Henry Nicholls finished 4 not out, blocking at the end to give Williamson the chance to reach his century, before the skipper sealed the win to give his team an unexpected 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

”It was certainly a full test match,” Williamson said. ”I think credit to Bangladesh to get so many runs on such a damp surface and to bat so well and put our bowlers under pressure was a great effort.

”I think if you look at the part where we took a little bit of control in the game in the second innings. The guys stepped up with the ball on a flat surface. Bangladesh were unfortunate to lose Mushfiqur Rahim to a head injury but at the same time we were very good with ball in hand which put them under a lot of pressure which enabled us to have the chase in the end.”

It was a particularly bitter defeat for Bangladesh who, in its first test match overseas in 2-1/2 years, saw a position of strength frittered away while also suffering distressing injuries to captain Mushfiqur and opening batsman Imrul Kayes.

Mushfiqur was taken to hospital by ambulance Monday after being struck in the head by a bouncer from New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee.

While there were initial fears for his safety when he collapsed near the crease and was treated for almost 20 minutes by paramedics and team medical staff before being transported to hospital for checks, Mushfiqur was well enough to rejoin his teammates later in the day.

”Probably we let ourselves down in the bowling department where we didn’t execute our plans as we should have,” Mushfiqur said. ”We could have had a lead of 150 or 200 on the first innings so it would have been a different ball game.

”I think in the last session on day four we lost a few wickets and on a couple of occasions, we were unlucky, like when myself and Imrul got injured. It’s disappointing because it could have been different.”

Kayes had made the same short journey by ambulance to Wellington Hospital, about 100 meters from the Basin Reserve, when he suffered a leg injury while batting on Sunday.

His courageous effort to bat again for Bangladesh on the final day and Mushfiqur’s decision to bat with a broken finger until he was struck on the helmet were admirable but ultimately unsuccessful.

Kayes was 24 not out when he retired hurt, taken from the ground on a stretcher in obvious pain. He returned when the eighth wicket fell Monday and, although barely able to move, made it to 36 not out when he ran out of partners.

Mushfiqur had been unable to keep wicket during the New Zealand first innings because of the finger injury suffered as he made 159 during the tourists’ first turn at bat. Kayes took the gloves throughout New Zealand’s first innings of 539, as Bangladesh grabbed a 56-run lead, but was then unable to keep in the second and the gloves were passed to Sabbir Rahman.

Mushfigur batted down the order at 8 in the second innings but was forced to retire hurt after being hit in the head as New Zealand turned the match around on the last day.