New Zealand beats Bangladesh by 9 wickets in 2nd test

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) Fast bowler Tim Southee became the fifth New Zealander to take 200 test wickets as he helped spur his team to a nine-wicket win over Bangladesh on Monday in the second test, completing a sweep of the two-match series.

Southee followed Richard Hadlee, Daniel Vettori, Chris Cairns and Chris Martin to the 200-wicket milestone, taking 3-48 in Bangladesh’s second innings of 173 as New Zealand achieved victory with remarkable alacrity given the day started with the test evenly poised.

Bowled out in 52.5 overs, Bangladesh left New Zealand just 109 to win the match and it achieved that target with one wicket down in the 19th over.

”Things like 200 wickets are nice to tick off on the way but it’s also nice to be able to sit back and be able to enjoy another test win,” Southee said. ”To come out and put in the performance we did today was very satisfying and for the batters to go out and play in a positive way and to sit here with a win tonight was very pleasing.”

Play was due to extend to 7 p.m. to make up for a third day was washed out, and a further half hour was added, giving the Black Caps time to reach the target without the need for a fifth day.

Tom Latham and Jeet Raval (33) briskly put on 56 for the first wicket and New Zealand promoted big-hitting Colin de Grandhomme to force the issue. The Black Caps rushed to victory four overs later with Latham 41 not out and de Grandhomme 33 not out.

A New Zealand victory by day’s end seemed highly unlikely when play began Monday, half an hour late due to water under the pitch covers. The hosts were 260-7; still 29 runs behind Bangladesh’s first innings of 289.

New Zealand worked its way to a 65-run first innings lead, reaching 354 with the help of Henry Nicholls who started the day at 56 not out and reached 98, falling two runs short of a maiden test century.

Bangladesh then crumbled in the face of an outstanding bowling performance from the seamers and was bowled out for 173. Southee’s three wickets were matched by Neil Wagner who took 3-44 and Trent Boult who took 3-52.

The only resistance at the top of the order came from Mahmdullah who made 38 and Soumya Sarkar who made 36. There was also a cameo 51-run ninth wicket partnership between bowlers Taskin Ahmed and Kamrul Islam who slogged their way to 33 and 25 respectively.

Latham and Raval set the platform for New Zealand’s victory chase in a solid opening partnership and de Grandhomme hit them home with 33 from 15 balls.

New Zealand won the tests by margins of seven and nine wickets and swept both the Twenty20 and one-day series 3-0, but the teams were more closely matched than those results suggested. Bangladesh was playing its first test series away from home in 2-1/2 years and competed well in the first innings of both tests before failing in the second.

It scored 595-8 in the first innings at Wellington – its highest score in tests outside Bangladesh which featured Shakib Al Hasan’s 217, the highest score by a Bangladesh batsman in tests. Leading on the first innings, it surrendered that match when it was bowled out for 160 in the second innings, leaving New Zealand 217 to win.

”It definitely wasn’t as easy as it appeared,” New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said. ”Credit to Bangladesh, in every game throughout this series whether it was Twenty20 cricket, one day cricket, test cricket they put us under a lot of pressure.

”This test was very similar to the first. Both teams were very even after the first innings and it came down to a second innings battle and today was probably our best day of cricket throughout the series.”

Bangladesh’s stand-in captain Tamim Iqbal said the blooding of a number of young players would pay dividends in the long term.

”The whole series we had our moments but at the final stage we lost it,” he said. ”The way we played, I’m very proud of.”