World Test Champions New Zealand Stunned By Bangladesh In Greatest Upset Ever

The minnows secured a historic win on away soil
10:30, 05 Jan 2022

Bangladesh produced the Miracle of Mount Maunganui as they picked up the biggest win in their history to humble World Test champions New Zealand in their own backyard.

The Tigers completed a dramatic eight-wicket victory on the final day at Oval Bay in arguably the greatest upset in Test cricket history.

Russell Domingo’s side finished bottom of the inaugural World Test Championship last year as the Kiwis toppled big guns India for a famous triumph on the game’s grandest stage.

But they upset the odds in fine fashion, without the experienced duo of Tamim Iqbal and Shakib-Al-Hasan. The magnitude of this historic win is highlighted by the records that tumbled on the final day as one of the biggest sporting shocks unfolded before our very eyes.

Bangladesh have come a long way since being given Test status in 2000. They hold the record for most consecutive losses in Test cricket after 23 straight defeats at the start of their story. They have been competitive on home soil for some time, but performing overseas — especially away from Asia — has always been a problem for the minnows.

It was the country’s first away win outside of Asia, except against the West Indies or Zimbabwe, and only their sixth in 61 Tests overall. It was their first victory in 16 attempts against the Kiwis.

New Zealand hadn’t been beaten at home by a side from Asia in over a decade, since they lost in 2011 to Pakistan. And this defeat ended the nation’s proud eight-series winning streak, which stretched back to 2017, and 17-game unbeaten run at home.

Bangladesh’s unlikely heroics gave Test cricket a much-needed shot in the arm with talks of the long-form game dying out never too far away. For the sport to thrive you need eight or nine nations playing competitive cricket, not just the same big three or four countries. And a fairytale story like this could be just what Bangladesh need to have the confidence to compete outside of the sub-continent.

And it could be a start of a new era for the country with a whole host of fresh faces in the side. Five of the 11 players are aged 25 or under and most of them played a part in this breathtaking team triumph.

It was a whole team performance. No-one scored a hundred as the visitors amassed a formidable 458 to secure a healthy first-innings lead of 130.

Ebadot Hossain turned the game on its head within the blink of an eye on the penultimate evening with three wickets in seven balls. The unlikeliest of heroes finished with match-winning figures of 6/46.

His journey to become a Test cricketer is incredible to say the least, but the fact head coach Domingo persevered with him despite averaging over 100 with the ball is even more so.

A volleyball player, who is still employed by the Bangladesh Air Force, helping the country to a landmark win simply writes itself.

Ebadot became the first fast bowler from the country to take a Test five-wicket haul since 2013 as he led his side to the highest of highs.

New Zealand resumed on day five at 147/5 with a paltry lead of just 17. Viewers were on the edge of their seats at the mouth-watering prospect of what, might, occur.

No-one expected the World Test champions to surrender as wilfully as they did on the last morning. The stage was set for retiring Ross Taylor, playing in his last Test series, to steer the sinking sink to safety and avoid a damaging defeat. But he was the first to go before Ebadot got his sixth, this time Kyle Jamieson, to reduce the shell-shocked hosts to 160/7. It was well and truly on.

Just 15 balls later Tim Southee was dismissed for the fourth duck of the innings as Bangladesh were on the verge with the Kiwis 161/9. The final wicket was the best of the lot as substitute fielder Taijul Islam produced a stunning catch, running to his left and diving to take the ball over his shoulder in the outfield to end the hosts’ feeble resistance.

There was a slight scare when Southee nicked Shadman Islam off for three. Jamieson also removed Najmul Hossain Shanto, but Bangladesh got safely over the line. And it was quite fitting that experienced pair Monimul Haque and Mushfiqur Rahim were the two to guide the visitors home.

Captain Haque said: “It was very important to put our legacy to the next level in the Test matches. It was a team work, everyone was keen to win this match. Everyone put in their support in all departments. We won because of our bowlers, they bowled in the right areas.”

The tiny nation’s previous best achievement was beating Sri Lanka away from home in what was an incredible win in their 100th Test match. But this monumental victory surpasses all that has come before in their history.

A drawn series would have been beyond their wildest dreams when they landed in New Zealand. But they head to Christchurch for the second, and final, Test hungry for another slice of history.

The future looks bright for Bangladesh.

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