WILLINGTON: Tamim Iqbal and Mominul Haque plundered New Zealand’s bowling to have Bangladesh at 119 for two when rain halted play for a second time on the opening day of the first Test on Thursday. Only 50 minutes play was possible in Wellington before lunch and another 89 minutes after the resumption as showers and a blustery wind swept through the New Zealand capital. New Zealand chose to bowl when they won the toss, but the green wicket and strong wind proved to be not as threatening as first feared. Opener Tamim hit 56 off 50 deliveries before he was removed lbw by Trent Boult, while Mominul was unbeaten on 48 at the second stoppage. His innings included 11 fours, six of them off the New Zealand left-arm quick. Mominul had been circumspect until the rain arrived when he belted two fours and a six off Tim Southee before the umpires took the players from the field. Earlier, New Zealand won the toss and elected to bowl to get maximum use of the green wicket and strong winds in the first. “It’s a little bit soft on top so hopefully, we can exploit some seam early on,” captain Kane Williamson said. “The wind, although it is very, very strong, is going across and hopefully will bring in a bit of swing for the right armers.”
New Zealand made one change from their last Test line up with Trent Boult returning from injury to replace Matt Henry. Bangladesh have two debutants, Taskin Ahmed and Subashis Roy, while 19-year-old all-rounder Mehedi Hasan will be playing his third Test. Bangladesh go into the match with an element of confidence having beaten England in October, although that was on a turning home track and they are unfamiliar with the Basin Reserve conditions in their first away Test since September 2014. “It’s very unfamiliar but we had a couple of good practice sessions in the past couple of days. Hopefully, the batters will apply themselves,” said skipper Mushfiqur Rahim. New Zealand have never lost a Test against Bangladesh and are on a golden streak at home having won two Tests against Pakistan while sweeping the three 50-over and three Twenty20 matches against Bangladesh. The forecast for Thursday is gale force winds gusting up to 120 kilometres per hour (74.6 mph) with the possibility of showers late in the day.
New Zealand: Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Kane Williamson (capt), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, BJ Watling, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Mehedi Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Subashis Roy, Kamrul Islam Rabbi
Umpires: Marais Erasmus (RSA), Paul Reiffel (AUS)
Third Umpire: Nigel Llong (ENG)
Match referee: Javagal Srinath (IND)