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Timid Tigers fend off Kiwis

Record fifth-wicket stand leads recovery on slow day in Chittagong

Mehrab: 79 not out at the close

First Test Match
Chittagong, Day One
Bangladesh 183-4 (Mehrab Hossain jnr 79 no, Mushfiqur Rahim 59 no) v New Zealand

Bangladesh dug in to recover from a disastrous start to reach the close of play on day one of the first Test against New Zealand on 183-4.

The hosts found themselves in a hole in Chittagong when, having won the toss and elected to bat first, they slipped to 44-4.

Iain O'Brien and Daniel Vettori claimed two wickets apiece as the Tigers limped along at a scoring rate of around one-run-an-over.

Slow going

However, Mehrab Hossain (79 not out) and Mushfiqur Rahim (59no) raised the tempo to rescue the situation, putting on an unbroken stand of 139.

The fifth-wicket partnership was a new record for Bangladesh, going past the previous best of 126 between current skipper Mohammad Ashraful and Aminul Islam against Sri Lanka back in 2001.

Mehrab certainly made the most of his chance after being recalled following the defection of 14 of his former team-mates to the Indian Cricket League.

The 21-year-old had scored just eight and six in his only other Test appearance but showed no signs of nerves as he made a maiden half-century.

By the close of play he had faced 164 balls and hit 10 fours, while partner Rahim had hit nine boundaries and a six to record his second Test 50.

The efforts of the duo blunted the Black Caps' bowlers after they had dominated the opening two sessions.

Early strike

Seamer O'Brien removed opener Junaid Siddique with his first ball of the match before later dismissing Rajin Saleh, who had been intent on occupation rather than accumulation.

He faced 129 balls for his 20 runs until being bowled off an inside edge, becoming the second of three wickets to go down in the space of 10 runs.

Visiting skipper Vettori grabbed the others, firstly getting Tamim Iqbal - who had been dropped twice already - caught behind having made 18 off 90 deliveries.

The left-arm spinner then removed his opposite number Ashraful, who fell lbw after contributing just two from the 35 balls he had faced.

New Zealand included a second spinner in Jeetan Patel on a pitch that is likely to take turn as the game goes on. They also handed a debut to batsman Jesse Ryder.