New Zealand’s nine-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the second test at Hagley Oval on Monday appeared to be an easy victory on paper though captain Kane Williamson felt it was far from that.
Tom Latham (44) and Colin de Grandhomme (33) guided Williamson’s side to the series-sweeping victory after his bowlers had skittled the visitors for 173 in their second innings, which was only boosted by a 51-run ninth wicket partnership by bowlers Taskin Ahmed and Kamrul Islam.
“It definitely wasn’t easy,” Williamson said. “Credit to Bangladesh throughout the series – whether it was T20, one day or test cricket they put us under pressure.
“I think this test match in some ways was similar to the first in that they were pretty even after their first innings and it came down to a second innings battle.”
New Zealand won the first test in Wellington by seven wickets, despite Bangladesh scoring 595 runs in their first innings.
Williamson’s bowlers then ran through them for 160 in their second innings before the captain led his side with an unbeaten century to the 217 needed to win.
The pattern was similar in the one-day and Twenty20 portions of Bangladesh’s tour.
Despite both being swept 3-0 by the hosts, nearly every game was in the balance, with New Zealand’s experience the difference that helped them through to the six victories.
Bangladesh also awarded four debuts in the test series, with Taskin and Subashis Roy leading their attack in the first match at the Basin Reserve.
The visitors were also not helped by injuries to key batsmen Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque and captain Mushfiqur Rahim for the second match in Christchurch.
The young side did, however, impress.
The 21-year-old Taskin was desperately unlucky not to take more than the two wickets he did snare in the two tests and generated good pace, seam movement and swing.
Off-spinner Mehedi Hasan also did not enjoy the best of returns with 4-268 from 73 overs but several times he had New Zealand’s batsmen in trouble with his control of flight and turn on pitches more conducive to seamers.
The visitors had also not played a test series away from home since they toured West Indies in late 2014 and stand-in captain Tamim Iqbal said given more opportunities his side would become as dangerous away as they are at home.
“We are quite good at home. We need to play more overseas,” Tamim said. “To not play for two years or three years, it’s a big gap and is difficult to get used to the conditions.
“We have plenty of test matches next year and will get stronger. The next time you guys see us back here we will give you a better shot.”.