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Bangladesh make bold start to second Test

NZN 19/01/2017 Daniel Gilhooly

Rookie opener Soumya Sarkar has helped a positive Bangladesh limit the early damage in the second Test against New Zealand at Hagley Oval.

The tourists' free-shouldered approach lifted them to 2-128 at lunch on day one, with Sarkar on 62 and Shakib Al Hasan 39, having combined for 88 runs in demanding conditions.

New-ball pair Trent Boult and Tim Southee claimed a wicket each early in seaming conditions after New Zealand chose to bowl first.

However, that assistance waned as the session wore on, allowing the left-handed Bangladesh pair to play their shots and achieve a crisp run rate off just 27 overs.

Sarker's defiant start belied his inexperience, having played just three Tests. He has only previously opened in limited overs internationals.

The 23-year-old replaced the injured Imrul Kayes in one of four changes from the Bangladesh XI who lost the first Test in Wellington by seven wickets.

A little streaky at times, Sarkar nevertheless drove and pulled with authority in reaching his maiden half-century.

He was given a life on 52 when a snick off Colin de Grandhomme was spilled by diving second slip Jeet Raval. The ball was travelling almost directly towards Ross Taylor at first slip.

A bristling Shakib, who scored 217 of Bangladesh's 8-595 declared at the Basin Reserve, hit seven boundaries, one less than Sarker.

Still to bat are two debutants, 18-year-old batsman Nazmul Hossain and wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan, who have replaced injured pair Mominul Haque and captain Mushfiqur Rahim respectively.

A fourth change saw the speedy Rubel Hossain recalled for his first Test in nearly two years, replacing seamer Subashis Roy.

New Zealand, fielding an unchanged side, revelled in the early movement and unusually hard pitch.

Southee (1-36) scraped the glove of interim captain Tamim Iqbal down the leg side before Boult (1-27) found the inside edge of Mahmudullah's bat, handing a second catch to wicketkeeper BJ Watling.

First-change Black Caps bowlers Neil Wagner and de Grandhomme, who took 6-41 in his debut Test at the same ground three months ago, were largely ineffective.

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