Bell leads NZ to first innings lead

Last updated 00:00 01/01/2009

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New Zealand have poked their noses in front late on the first day of the first cricket test when overhauling Bangladesh's insignificant first innings at University Oval.

Opener Matthew Bell, playing his first test since 2001, piloted New Zealand past Bangladesh's 137 all out, off the last ball of the hosts' 37th over.

By stumps, Bell was on 74 with allrounder Jacob Oram unbeaten on 17.

Although New Zealand were comfortably positioned at the close on 156 for four, an under pressure -- and remodelled top order -- failed to collectively fire in pleasant batting conditions.

Craig Cumming, with one, and Peter Fulton and Stephen Fleming, who both made 14, all had a hand in their own demise although debutant Sajidual Islam, who claimed Cumming as his first scalp, had his moments.

Fulton missed a straight one from Shahadat Hossain after peeling three boundaries in his previous over while Fleming was cursing when a loose drive edged the ball to wicketkeeper Mushfiq Rahim.

Bell and Mathew Sinclair constructed a 73-run stand for the fourth wicket before the latter was adjudged leg before wicket for 29 to Mushrafe Mortaza, a ball after the paceman had a more compelling appeal turned down by Australian umpire Peter Parker.

Bell notched his half-century off 75 balls and was on course for his second test century at stumps.

Earlier, Chris Martin claimed four for 64 off 13 overs and Oram three for 23 as Bangladesh struggled to cope apart from teenaged opener Tamim Iqbal, who made 53 on debut.

Veteran Habibul Bashar added a brisk 23 off 22 balls before he was claimed by Martin, who ended the innings on 117-career wickets, equal seventh on the New Zealand all-time list with Richard Collinge.

Pace bowler Michael Mason was left out of the Black Caps starting XI, with Iain O'Brien retaining his place as the third seamer.

Mason has been released from the New Zealand test squad to play for Central Districts in the domestic one-day cricket competition this weekend.

The seamer left Dunedin soon after the toss to head to New Plymouth, where the Stags host Canterbury in a third round match on Sunday.

Bangladesh made multiple changes to the side badly beaten 3-0 in the one-day series with the three recent arivals in the starting line-up.

Veteran Bashar, fellow top order batsman Shariah Nafees and spinner Enamul Haque are all included.

Rajin Saleh, Shakib Al Hasan, Farhad Reza and Abdur Razzak have been all been omitted, leaving batsman Saleh as the only player yet to feature on tour.

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New Zealand: Daniel Vettori (captain), Craig Cumming, Matthew Bell, Peter Fulton, Mathew Sinclair, Jacob Oram, Brendon McCullum, Kyle Mills, Iain O'Brien, Chris Martin, Michael Mason (12th man).

Bangladesh: Mohammad Ashraful (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Zunaed Siddique, Shariah Nafees, Habibul Bashar, Aftab Ahmed, Mushfiq Rahim, Mashrafe Mortaza, Enamul Haque, Shahadat Hossain, Sajidul Islam.

-NZPA

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