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Report, Day 3: After the first two days were lost to rain, the second cricket test between New Zealand and Bangladesh exploded into life on the third day Sunday as 12 wickets fell on a pitch that delighted seam bowlers but will give batsmen nightmares.
Bangladesh was bowled out for 211 in 61 overs after losing a fateful toss and New Zealand made its way with difficulty to 38-2 before bad light stopped play an hour from scheduled stumps.
The first two days of the match were entirely lost to rain and when ground staff peeled back the covers under a heavy overcast sky and amid an eager audience of players on Sunday batsmen audibly gasped.
The pitch was bright emerald green, lushly grassed and moist; the epitome of a green seamer. Its condition made the toss a matter of huge influence and it fell New Zealand's way, sending out Bangladesh's openers under dark skies and in bitter cold.
But if a rout was expected it didn't eventuate. The New Zealand seamers failed to take advantage of the conditions. Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Matt Henry were all wicket-less in their opening spells as Bangladesh made its way comfortably to 75 before the first wicket fell in the 21st over.
Frustrated by its failure of technique, New Zealand resorted to brute force and called on Neil Wagner to use his contentious bodyline approach to bounce out the Bangladesh batsmen.
It worked. Bangladesh was 119-1 approaching lunch but Wagner took two wickets immediately before the break and two more soon afterwards, capturing the key wicket of Tamim Iqbal for 74, as Bangladesh slumped to 168-6.
Wagner took 4-28, lifting his tally to 17 wickets in four home tests this summer. Boult returned to wrap up the tail and finished with 3-38.
But New Zealand's use of Wagner was an effective admission that its new ball bowlers weren't good enough to use the conditions to their advantage.
Boult, Southee and later Henry failed to regularly hit a length necessary to make the ball seam effectively. They then received a lesson in seam bowling technique for Bangladesh's Abu Jayed who hit a perfect length, made the ball duck about and dismissed New Zealand openers Tom Latham for 4 and Jeet Raval for 3.
New Zealand was 8-2 but Ross Taylor took 19 from 13 balls and Kane Williamson dug in to be 10 not out when poor light intervened.
Tamim's innings, his 27th test half century, was the highlight of the early part of the day. He was unfettered by the conditions and happy to use his feet and drive through cover. When he was out, the Bangladesh innings quickly folded, delayed only by wicketkeeper Liton Das who made 33.
Tamim has been in outstanding form in the New Zealand series, scoring 126 and 74 in the first test at Hamilton which New Zealand won by an innings and 52 runs.
Wagner's bowling turned the tide of the innings but his approach is contentious. On the morning of the match, New Zealand's largest Sunday newspaper ran a column denouncing his use of bodyline or leg theory as intimidatory and dangerous.
New Zealand has defended the approach as legitimate, within the rules, and a skill in its own way. But it is not popular with fans who see it as a tactic of last resort, lacking finesse.
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