Mominul Haque’s maiden century finished on 181 as Bangladesh strolled to 380-7 against New Zealand on the third day of the first test on Friday.
Bangladesh trailed New Zealand’s first innings by only 89 runs, with a draw looking likely unless a bowler from either side turns some tricks at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
After tea, Mominul could add only nine runs to his total before he was trapped lbw by left—arm fast bowler Corey Anderson to the relief of the visitors. Mominul and captain Mushfiqur Rahim combined for 121 for the fifth wicket to keep Bangladesh on track to catch New Zealand’s first innings of 469.
Mushfiqur fell in the next over, well caught in the slips by Ross Taylor off Doug Bracewell, who finished with 2-71 while Anderson took 2-23 on debut.
Mominul’s century in his fourth test was the third highest by a Bangladeshi. Mushfiqur scored 200 and Mohammad Ashraful 190 in a draw in Sri Lanka in March.
Mominul, whose previous best score was 64, reached 100 from 98 balls, the second fastest by a Bangladeshi in tests.
In all, he hit 27 boundaries to amass his total in 274 balls, and was unhappy to miss out on a double century.
“Definitely, I am frustrated, I don’t know if I will get another chance like this,” Mominul said.
“I got bad balls on Thursday. They had overcome their weaknesses and threw good balls in places on Friday.”
New Zealand opener Hamish Rutherford said they were still hopeful of winning.
“We still are in a very good position, the pitch is very flat, and it hasn’t broken up as much as everyone would have thought,” Rutherford said. “So leading into tomorrow, 89 runs ahead, a couple of wickets early would put us in a very good state.”
Bangladesh started slow but steady in the morning session when Marshall Ayub was the only wicket to fall, caught behind off Anderson for 25, ending a partnership of 126 runs with Mominul.
Shakib Al Hasan fell cheaply on 19 in the first over after lunch at 180-4, then Mominul and Mushfiqur saw Bangladesh past tea.
Nasir Hossain was the last wicket of the day as he played some shots but fell for 46 at 371-7 to Kane Williamson, to give debutant spinner Ish Sodhi his first wicket. Sodhi has conceded four an over.