Fast bowler Ebadot Hossain took a career-best 6/46 as Bangladesh beat World Test Champions New Zealand by eight wickets in the first Test at the Bay Oval on Wednesday. This was Bangladesh’s first-ever win in New Zealand and they take 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
Ebadot had bowled Bangladesh to the brink of a famous victory by the end of the fourth day when he had figures of 4/39. He broke down the last of New Zealand’s resistance with two quick wickets as the home team was dismissed in its second innings for 169, its lowest score against Bangladesh.
New Zealand trailed by 130 runs on the first innings, leaving Bangladesh to score only 40 for victory. It lost two wickets in doing so but current captain Mominul Haque, top-scorer in the first innings, and former captain Mushfiqur Rahim were at the crease when Bangladesh reached 42-2.
It was only Bangladesh’s sixth Test win away from home and its first Test win over a team ranked in the top 5 ranked team: New Zealand are ranked No. 2 and Bangladesh No. 9. The result also brought to an end New Zealand’s unbeaten streak in its last 17 Tests at home.
Ebadot, a former volleyball player who became a test cricketer after winning a fast-bowling competition, had only 11 test wickets at an average of 81 when he came into this match as Bangladesh’s third seamer.
He took 1/75 in New Zealand’s first innings of 328 but came into his own in the second innings, running through the middle order on Tuesday with the wickets of Devon Conway (13), Henry Nicholls (0), Tom Blundell (0) and Will Young (69). That left New Zealand 147/5 at the start of play Wednesday, only 17 ahead of Bangladesh.
The possibility of any stern resistance by New Zealand, marshaled around veteran batsman Ross Taylor who was 37 not out when play began, quickly dissolved, thanks to Ebadot.
The tall right-armer, who snaps to attention and salutes when he takes a wicket, saluted twice when he bowled Taylor for 40. Then he dismissed Kyle Jamieson to leave New Zealand 160-7. Shoriful pulled off a brilliant diving catch at mid-wicket to complete the second dismissal.
Taskin Ahmed then stepped in to help wrap up the New Zealand innings. He removed the other overnight batsman, allrounder Rachin Ravindra, for 16. Ravindra had edged a delivery from Ebadot between first slip and the wicketkeeper but this time the edge carried finer to keeper Liton Das.
Taskin bowled Tim Southee (0) and Mehidy Hasan Miraz finished it off with the wicket of Trent Boult, who was brilliantly caught at deep mid-wicket by the substitute Taijul Islam.
“It’s a long story, volleyball player to test cricketer,” Ebadot said. “But I’m a soldier of the Bangladesh Air Force and I know how to salute.
“On New Zealand soil over the last 11 years our brothers and our teams didn’t get any wins. But when we came to New Zealand we set a goal. We raised our hands and said ‘Yes, we have to do it and we can do it on New Zealand soil.’
“New Zealand are test champions so if we raise our hands and beat New Zealand on New Zealand soil our next generation will be able to beat them too.”
Ebadot credits Bangladesh’s West Indies-born bowling coach Ottis Gibson for his transformation as a fast bowler, for urging him to pitch the ball up on off stump. That was the key to Bangladesh’s bowling success on the a docile pitch at Bay Oval, where New Zealand’s shorter lengths were unsuccessful.
“We were short in all three facets,” New Zealand captain Tom Latham said. “Bangladesh showed us how to go about things on that wicket. They were able to build partnerships, to bowl well from both ends and build pressure and unfortunately we weren’t able to do it for long enough.”
The second Test begins at Christchurch on Sunday.