After being flogged around the Basin Reserve for 595 runs, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson felt his bowlers had responded superbly to set up an improbable seven-wicket first test victory against Bangladesh on the final day on Monday.
Williamson scored his 15th test century to lead New Zealand to their target of 217 for the loss of three wickets with 17.2 overs remaining after Bangladesh had been dismissed for 160 in their second innings.
“Credit to the bowlers with the way they came back with a lot of energy after a tough first innings,” Williamson said. “To bowl Bangladesh out on a very good surface was a tough thing to do.
“To bounce back and achieve that was brilliant and it allowed us to chase down the total.”
Bangladesh had achieved their second-highest test score in the first innings when Mushfiqur Rahim declared their innings at 595 for eight.
The hosts, however, responded with 536 with Tom Latham scoring 177 as the team produced several big partnerships to get them close to Bangladesh’s mammoth total.
“To get as close as we did was a fantastic effort… lot of credit to Tom Latham with a big hundred to get us basically back to parity,” Williamson said.
“It then really came down to the second innings and I guess (that’s) when we took control of the game.
“The guys were very good with the ball on a flat surface.”
Despite the obvious knock to confidence after scoring almost 600 then losing, Mushfiqur’s side had plenty to be pleased with.
They showed they can bat down to number seven and their main spinners Mehedi Hasan and Shakib Al Hasan are world-class exponents of slow bowling.
Their inexperienced pace attack with Taskin Ahmed and Subashis Roy on debut, however, were unable to put New Zealand under sustained pressure with the ball.
“We didn’t execute our plans the way we should have and if we had, we could have had a 200-run lead in the first innings and it would have been a different ball game,” Mushfiqur said.
“If you want to take a wicket in test cricket you have to bowl consistently well and we couldn’t do that.
“We had some great partnerships in the batting but didn’t have any in the bowling and we need to do that if you want to get them out.
“We will work on that and execute it better in the second test.”