Spotlight was on the host Bangladesh as they required just three wickets to secure their inaugural home triumph over New Zealand.
Adding to the four wickets claimed on day four, Taijul Islam snared two more on the fifth morning, culminating in a six-wicket haul for 75 runs. With this stellar performance, Bangladesh closed the match with a commanding 150-run victory, as in pursuit of 332, New Zealand stumbled at 181.
Taijul’s ten-wicket haul, conceding 184 runs, marked his second instance of achieving ten or more wick-ets in a single Test. His first decimation of this magnitude came in 2018 against Zimbabwe at the same venue.
This triumph propels Bangladesh into the new World Test Championship cycle on a high note, a note-worthy feat given the absence of several senior players in this match. The designated Test captain, Shakib Al Hasan, remained sidelined due to a finger injury, joined by Tamim Iqbal and Litton Das for various reasons.
The mantle fell upon the rejuvenated Bangladesh Test team under the leadership of Najmul Hossain Shanto, who, having led Bangladesh in the World Cup in Shakib’s absence, made a spectacular debut as Test captain by scoring a century—the first for a Bangladeshi in debut as captain.
This century laid the foundation for the Tigers to set a challenging target for New Zealand, a team that had never successfully chased more than 324 runs in the fourth innings to win a Test. Notably, the last instance was in 1994 when they defeated Pakistan chasing 324 runs, making this pursuit a significant challenge.
Chasing a target of 332 runs in the fourth innings, New Zealand faltered early, losing wickets at regular intervals and failing to recover from the initial setback of losing three for 30 runs.
Daryl Mitchell displayed resilience with a score of 58, while Tim Southee contributed 34 in the face of a formidable bowling attack from Bangladesh. However, apart from them, none of the other New Zealand batters could mount significant resistance.
Taijul’s exceptional performance in this match marked his 13th five or more-wicket haul in Tests, mak-ing him the second-best for Bangladesh after Shakib, who boasts 19 such hauls.
In the first innings, Bangladesh posted 310, with Mahmudul Hasan Joy notching up 86 after winning the toss. No player from Bangladesh managed to cross the fifty-run mark. Glenn Phillips shone for New Zealand, taking four wickets.
In response, New Zealand secured a narrow 7-run lead, scoring 317 in their first innings, with Kane Wil-liamson being the standout performer with a century. Taijul contributed with four wickets in the first innings.
In their final innings, Bangladesh scored 338, anchored by Shanto’s century and fifties from Mushfiqur Rahim and Mehidy Hasan Miraz. Ajaz Patel took four wickets for the visitors.
With this win, overall second against New Zealand, Bangladesh took the lead in the two-match series. The second and final match of this series is scheduled to take place in Dhaka on December 6.