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Taylor ends test career in style as NZ routs Bangladesh

January 11, 2022 GMT
Ross Taylor, center, of New Zealand celebrates his wicket during play on day three of the second cricket test between Bangladesh and New Zealand at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, New Zealand, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. (Martin Hunter/Photosport via AP)
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Ross Taylor, center, of New Zealand celebrates his wicket during play on day three of the second cricket test between Bangladesh and New Zealand at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, New Zealand, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. (Martin Hunter/Photosport via AP)
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Ross Taylor, center, of New Zealand celebrates his wicket during play on day three of the second cricket test between Bangladesh and New Zealand at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, New Zealand, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. (Martin Hunter/Photosport via AP)

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — Ross Taylor ended his 15-year test career by taking a wicket with his part-time offbreaks that clinched a victory for New Zealand over Bangladesh by an innings and 117 runs and tied the two-match series on Tuesday.

In dimming light and with Bangladesh nine wickets down, the crowd at Hagley Oval began baying for Taylor, the 37-year-old batter retiring from test cricket after his 112th match, to be given a rare chance to bowl.

When the light became too poor for the quicks to continue, New Zealand captain Tom Latham bowed to the crowd’s demand and Taylor’s third ball brought a false shot from Ebadot Hossain, who skied the ball to Latham.

“I wanted to finish with a win,” Taylor said, “and the guys obviously gave that to me.”

Taylor had bowled only 16 overs in all of his previous tests for two wickets, the last time eight years ago, but fate conspired to bring his career to an extraordinary end. First mobbed by his teammates and then presented the match ball, he walked from the field through an honor guard formed by Bangladesh, providing one last rich memory of an outstanding career.

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“We needed to win this game to stay in the series and I thought we played fantastically well,” Taylor said. “Bangladesh put us under pressure at various times and that was probably a fair reflection of where the series was at.”

A defiant 102 by wicketkeeper Liton Das made Bangladesh a hard nut to crack, forcing a match which many thought would be over quickly into the final session of the third day before the last wicket fell 20 minutes from scheduled stumps.

Das batted almost one-handed for much of his innings after being struck on the glove. He weathered a barrage of short-pitched bowling from New Zealand to post his second test century, from only 106 balls. Bangladesh rallied around his resilient example to keep New Zealand waiting, but the end came swiftly after his departure as the tourists were dismissed for 278.

It was significant that the final catch was taken by Latham as the captain had an outsized influence on this match. He scored 252 — his second test double century — in New Zealand’s first innings of 521-6 declared, then took six catches as Bangladesh was bowled out for 126 and 278 after the follow-on was enforced.

In doing so, Latham became the first player in test history to score 250 and take six catches in the same match.

“We came here 1-0 down, and putting a performance like this on the board was very pleasing,” Latham said. “We talked about it in the days before the match that we had to improve on a number of areas and I thought we did that well.

“I guess getting put in on day one on a wicket we know does a little bit on day one, to get through that first session, to build partnerships throughout the innings was ideal. I guess we know first innings scores here are very important.”

The result appeared a reversal for Bangladesh, which made history in winning the first test by eight wickets for its first win in any format in New Zealand. The win by the world’s ninth-ranked team over the world test champion, especially in New Zealand conditions, was regarded as one of test cricket’s great upsets.

The tourists struggled to recover in the second test after New Zealand’s mammoth first-innings total but the fight they showed on the final day was impressive and they eventually will be pleased with a drawn series.

“I’m really happy with the first test but the first innings of the second test was disappointing,” Bangladesh captain Monimul Haque said. “It was very challenging for us after winning the first test to keep our momentum for the second.”

After the match, New Zealand paceman Kyle Jamieson was fined 15% of his match fee using “inappropriate language” after dismissing Yasir Ali on Monday in Bangladesh’s first innings, the ICC said.

Jamieson admitted to the offense and accepted the sanction.

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