At Chittagong, October 9-13, 2013. Drawn. Toss: New Zealand. Test debuts: Marshall Ayub; C. J. Anderson, I. S. Sodhi.
This otherwise humdrum match will be remembered for the achievements of Sohag Gazi. For all the great all-round performances in Test history, it took until the 2,097th game, and a 22-year-old Bangladeshi picked as a specialist off-spinner, for a player to score a century and take a hat-trick in the same match; remarkably Gazi was also the most recent player to achieve the feat in first-class cricket (see page 912).
Gazi's hat-trick - only the second in Tests for Bangladesh, after Alok Kapali's against Pakistan at Peshawar in August 2003 - was a pleasant diversion as the game plodded to a draw on a last-day pitch lacking turn or carry. Operating with the second new ball, he had the debutant Corey Anderson lbw with an arm-ball, before Watling edged his first delivery behind: it struck Mushfiqur Rahim in the chest, and fell into his gloves. The third arrived with a beautiful doosra, which took Bracewell's edge, hit Mushfiqur's right leg and popped up in the air for Shakib Al Hasan to lunge forward from leg slip and take a stunning one handed catch. Gazi, who now had six wickets in the innings, had no idea that he had just written a new chapter in Test history.
But it was Gazi's maiden Test century which had done most to help Bangladesh avoid defeat against New Zealand for only the second time in ten matches. When he came out at No. 8 on the third evening, after Mominul Haque and Mushfiqur Rahim had fallen within six balls, Bangladesh were trailing by 168. That they were able to pass 500, and claim a first-innings lead over New Zealand for the first time, was largely down to the 105 put on by Gazi and Robiul Islam for the ninth wicket.
New Zealand's tail had proved just as hard to dislodge. Watling had barely got off the mark when he was caught at gully off a Rubel Hossain no-ball, and capitalised by making his second Test century, in a stand of 127 with last man Boult. (Only Brian Hastings and Richard Collinge, who added 151 against Pakistan at Auckland in 1972-73, had put on more for New Zealand's tenth wicket.) Williamson, fleet-footed and unafraid to leave the crease, had earlier eased to his third Test hundred in the subcontinent.
Bangladesh's first innings began dismally: Boult launched it with a wide, but then lured Tamim Iqbal into nicking a drive for his first golden duck in first-class cricket; Anamul Haque followed soon after. Enter Mominul, playing only his fourth Test. His boyish frame hardly looked cut out for modern international cricket, but he launched a blistering counter-attack by rollicking to 50 in 36 deliveries, with almost all of them in front of square as New Zealand bowled too full. His first Test hundred followed next morning, from only 98 balls. At under 5ft 4in, Mominul was among the very shortest Test centurions, along with his captain Mushfiqur. Unlike some of their predecessors in the Bangladesh team, Mominul and Mushfiqur then got down to the hard work of saving the follow-on.
When Bangladesh got there, it was telling that there were no wild celebrations in the crowd, as in years gone by. Mominul was eventually lbw to his 274th ball, of which he had hit 27 for four - the most by a Bangladeshi in a Test innings. Gazi enjoyed enough support to cut and thrash his way to a hundred, and a couple of the Bangladesh fielders were seen yawning when they emerged for New Zealand's second innings. The tourists still had pretensions of victory, but those were harmed when rain cut short the fourth day, and they delayed their charge until after Gazi's hat-trick, which nudged McCullum to declare with a lead of 255, and 48 overs remaining. Bangladesh saw them out with ease.
Man of the Match: Sohag Gazi.