Tigers now eying historic series win in New Zealand...

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Tigers now eying historic series win in New Zealand

 Sports Desk daily-bangladesh.com

 Published: 10:02 AM, 8 January 2022   Updated: 10:52 AM, 8 January 2022

Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

Emboldened by their emphatic victory in the first Test, Bangladesh now are eying more glory as they set a goal to sweep the two-match series by winning the second and final game, starting on Sunday at Hagley Oval in Christchurch. 

The match starts at 4:00 am (Bangladesh Standard Time) and will be aired live on Gazi TV and T Sports.

Bangladesh won the first Test by eight wickets, which was their first Test victory against New Zealand and also their first victory on New Zealand soil in 33 attempts across three formats.

The victory in fact came after a sheer domination over the hosts over the five days of game, which made the outcome more glorious. And it also came without the two key players-Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, which proved Tigers future, is at safe hands when everyone wrote off them in the longer version format.

After this victory, Bangladesh now lead the series 1-0, which meant only a draw would help them win their first ever series victory against a major Test nation apart from Zimbabwe on foreign soil.

Bangladesh are brimming with confidence to win the second Test also after such a groundbreaking performance in the first game in which everyone had a handy contribution. But Ebadot Hossain made him obvious after a prolonged bad form in this format. His six for 46, which was a second best figure by a Bangladeshi pacer and best figure by a Bangladeshi pacer on foreign soil, was instrumental in the eight-wicket victory.

The Tigers will face a more challenging task at Hagley Oval in Christchurch where New Zealand lost just one game, having played eight Tests. Mount Maunganui, where Bangladesh won the first Test, was a relatively newer ground which has hosted only three Test matches so far, and Ebadot Hossain, in particular, used it to throw up a challenge that.

New Zealand's experienced batter Ross Taylor said the Christchurch conditions would suit them more than Bangladesh.

"They were patient, they brought the stumps into play, they made us hit straight down the ground and a lot of our players probably haven't faced reverse swing for a majority of their careers," Taylor said. 

"It's probably only been sporadic in the domestic circuit. And they bowled very well with it. Got it going both ways. But here, in Christchurch, the conditions will suit us a lot more than they probably did in Mount Maunganui."

Ross Taylor had already announced his retirement after the end of this cricket season. After this Test series, New Zealand will play three ODIs and many T20s against Australia to end their cricket season. So the second Test against Bangladesh is Taylor's last Test. And no doubt he would want to make it a memorable one.

"As a team, we definitely want to try and turn things around and send him off in a nice, positive way," team-mate Devon Conway, who struck a century in the first innings, said.

"It's been a real honour to play alongside him even though it's been sort of five Test matches for me personally but just to be in and around Ross in that change-room, it is an honour.

"We spoke about it as the game ended in the Mount last week. We said we needed to try and bounce back and send him off on a positive note and try and remind him as to what he's done throughout Test cricket."

Bangladesh would have to make at least one change with opener Mahmudul Hasan Joy being ruled out due to finger injury. Naim Sheikh may replace him to make his Test debut. However, apart from that, the visitors are unlikely to tinker with their combination.

Squad: Mominul Haque (capt), Shadman Islam, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Fazle Mahmud, Liton Das (wk), Nurul Hasan (wk), Yasir Ali, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Abu Jayed, Ebadot Hossain, Shoriful Islam, Khaled Ahmed, Shohidul Islam, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Mohammad Naim.