Latham, Conway bully Bangladesh to hand New Zealand the advantage
After the highs of Mount Maunganui, Bangladesh were subjected to a tortuous outing at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on the opening day of the second Test. Tom Latham's dominating ton - 186 off 278 - helped New Zealand end the day on 349 for 1 on a seemingly green carpet laid out to assist the pacers.
Once the coin fell in Mominul Haque's favour, the Bangladesh captain had no hesitation in sticking New Zealand in. Latham, on the eve of the game, had stressed that this is not a win the toss and win the contest track. However, he was well aware of the challenge that lay ahead of him with the Bangladesh pacers coming into the contest high on confidence and motivated to continue their good run, reports Cricbuzz.
New Zealand throughout the day were able to score freely and without much trouble. The Bangladesh bowlers looked flat and lacked answers to the challenge thrown at them in favourable conditions. To add to that the sheer dominance of Latham meant they buckled under pressure and couldn't quite lift their performance. The openers - Latham and Will Young - kept the score moving steadily in the opening eight overs to get things going. Latham was given out lbw twice against Ebadot Hossain and both times the New Zealand captain was able to turn the decision in his favour with DRS.
The pair got their half-century stand in the 15th over with a boundary and Latham got to his half-century off 65 balls in the 21st over and was the aggressor even as Young held his end up without any issues. Hossain then created an opportunity in the first over after the break. The pacer had Young edging straight to first slip but the fielder at second slip got in the way and dropped the catch. As the ball rolled down to fine man, an overthrow allowed New Zealand to collect seven runs in total. On the next delivery, the pair completed their century partnership to push Bangladesh on the backfoot.
The wicket eventually came in the 38th over when Shoriful Islam had Young dismissed for 54 to end the 148-run opening stand. Conway too made his intentions clear very early on as he launched Mehidy Hasan for a six in the 43rd over before Latham got to his 12th Test ton against the spinner in the 45th over with a single to the on side. New Zealand scored 100 runs in the session to ensure Bangladesh went into the break knowing the worst is yet to come.
Young's wicket was the only respite they had through the day as Devon Conway and Latham made unbeaten 201 of 33 to put New Zealand in a good position to post a big total. Latham reached the 150-run mark off 199 deliveries and also helped the side cross the 300-run mark in the 81st over. Bangladesh, in desperation, wasted a review against Latham in the 80th over for a caught behind decision with the left-hander missing the ball by quite some distance.
Conway had a chance to complete his century in the final over but he took a single before Latham played out the remainder of the over to leave the left-hander unbeaten on 99 overnight. New Zealand were able to score at close to four runs per over through the day against a hapless Bangladesh bowling unit that couldn't quite turn up on the day.