Mount Maunganui: Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haq (88) and wicketkeeper-batter Liton Das (86) strung together a century partnership as the tourists amassed 401 for six at the end of Day 3 in the first Test against New Zealand here on Monday.
Bangladesh have taken a crucial 73-run first-innings lead with four wickets still intact in reply to New Zealand’s total of 328.
In a slow-moving first session, Bangladesh could manage to add just 45 runs to their overnight total of 175/2 and lost two wickets.
Neil Wagner grabbed the wicket of Mahmudul Hasan Joy in the third over of the day with Henry Nicholls taking a sharp catch at gully. Joy went for a hard-fought 78 off 228 deliveries.
New Zealand bowlers were relentless, chipping at Bangladesh’s resistance. Kyle Jamieson almost got the fourth wicket but ended up dropping Mominul Haque off his own bowling for eight. Mominul had another reprieve when he edged one to the wicketkeeper off Wagner’s bowling six overs later but it was ruled as a no-ball.
Mominul survived but his partner Mushfiqur Rahim (12) was soon knocked over by Trent Boult. Liton Das, walked in just a few overs before the lunch break. While New Zealand did well to maintain the pressure in the first session, the momentum shifted in the second with Liton and Mominul going strong.
Liton hit a flurry of fours and inspired Mominul to break the shackles as well. Jamieson and Wagner, in particular, bore the brunt of their assault.
The host bowlers were left frustrated as the duo added 87 runs before tea break without losing a wicket and trailing by only 21 runs.
Bangladesh continued from where they had left off and pressed on in the first hour after tea to push past New Zealand’s first-innings total. Both batsmen looked set and moving towards their respective centuries as they negotiated the New Zealand pace threat.
Things turned around after the drinks break when Trent Boult was introduced into the attack. He immediately trapped Mominul in front for 88 after the batter reviewed unsuccessfully. The big 108-run stand was finally broken. Boult then scalped Liton, who also missed out on a hundred.
Yasir Ali (11 not out) and Mehidy Hasan (20 not out) negotiated the remaining overs in the day without further hiccups as Bangladesh ended day three on 401/6.
Brief scores: New Zealand 328 in 108.1 overs vs Bangladesh 401/6 in 156 overs (Mahmudul Hasan Joy 78, Najmul Hossain Shanto 64, Mominul Haque 88, Liton Das 86; Trent Boult 3/61).