A courageous century by wicketkeeper Liton Das made Bangladesh a hard nut to crack but New Zealand finally broke through Tuesday to win the second cricket test by an innings and 117 runs to tie the two-match series.
Das batted almost one-handed for much of his innings after being struck on the glove. He weathered a barrage of short-pitched bowling from New Zealand to post his second test century from only 106 balls.
Bangladesh rallied around his resilient example to force a match which many thought would be over quickly Tuesday into the final session of the third day before the last wicket fell 20 minutes from scheduled stumps.
Das finally was out for 102 and the end came swiftly afterwards with Bangladesh losing its last wickets in dimming light at Hagley Oval. When the ninth wicket fell the crowd began baying for the veteran batsman Ross Taylor who will retire from test cricket after his 112th test to be given a chance to bowl.
When the light became too poor for the quicks to continue, captain Tom Latham bowed to the crowd’s demand and Taylor’s third ball of gentle off breaks brought a false shot from Ebadot Hossain who skied the ball to Latham. That brought the curtain down on Taylor’s 15-year test career in the most unusual fashion and to the reverberating cheers of the crowd.
Taylor had bowled only 16 overs in all of his previous tests for two wickets, the last time eight years ago. But fate conspired to bring his career to an extraordinary end. First mobbed by his teammates and presented the match ball, he walked from the field through a honor guard formed by Bangladesh, providing one last rich memory of an outstanding career.
“We needed to win this game to stay in the series and I thought we played fantastically well,” Taylor said. “Bangladesh put us under pressure at various times and that was probably a fair reflection of where the series was at.
“I wanted to finish with a win and the guys obviously gave that to me.”