NZ changes tack to crush revival

Last updated 00:00 01/01/2009

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New captain Daniel Vettori blamed himself for Bangladesh getting away on New Zealand before being reeled in yesterday to win the first test match at University Oval handsomely by nine wickets.

He said he was too attacking with his field settings in the Bangladeshi second innings which let the visitor's openers get a flyer, adding a record-breaking 161 for the first wicket.

When New Zealand yesterday returned with a changed game plan more in keeping with the placid nature of the pitch by bowling patiently to more regulation fields the wickets started to tumble.

All 10 wickets were lost for 93 runs in fewer than 40 overs. With New Zealand needing only 35 to win, the match was over before tea on the third day.

Vettori said he had the expectation, given how lowly ranked Bangladesh had been dominated in the one-day series and played in the first innings of the opening test, that it would just be more of the same.

"I think I had three slips and they were going along at seven an over. I took some sage advice from (former captain) Mr (Stephen) Fleming and (coach) Mr (John) Bracewell about the game plan overnight and we were able to flick the switch."

Once the bowlers settled wickets began to tumble and fears that New Zealand could face embarrassment eased.

Vettori admitted parts of New Zealand's game needed improving not just the start to the visitor's second innings but also the top-order batting which was expected to bat for longer in the favourable conditions.

It was not the sort of performance which would have England, which is due to arrive later this month for a five-match one-day and three-game test series, quaking at home.

Vettori did praise Chris Martin for leading the way with a tight nine-over opening spell yesterday after which the cracks soon began to appear.

The first wicket stand between debutant teenagers Tamim Iqbal (84) and Zunaed Siddique (74) was broken and the stroke-making visitors then were unable to remain patient against a consistent New Zealand attack.

The collapse was the worst fear of Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons who said learning to bat time and see bowlers off was the biggest skill his players had to learn.

"The openers seem to have picked up what I'm on about, now it's up to the rest of them.

"When I went to bed last night I was hoping for the best although fearing the worst given how we had played earlier in the tour."

An Australian, Siddons linked with the team only a month ago and said he was trying to instil the value of batting patiently and not hitting the ball in the air.

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"We have potential and the wicket suited us, but we couldn't stick it out so it's back to the nets."

All the bowlers shared in the spoils with Vettori coming on later to remove the lower order.

Stephen Fleming collected a second slip catch for the match lifting him to 163 overall which is third on the test ladder just one behind Brian Lara. Australian Mark Waugh leads the way on 181.

Meanwhile, Vettori slammed the short boundaries at the northern end of the ground as "farcical".

The boundary is barely 50m and top edges flew for six but had been approved by the International Cricket Council before regulations regarding the minimum boundary size were introduced.

Vettori said the set-up overall at the ground was fantastic but he would hate to be bowling, as a spinner, to Australians Adam Gilchrist or Matthew Hayden on the ground.

"Getting small edges going for six is not how it should be and means you also have to set the field a little differently," he said.

An old building on the ground's northern fringe is to be shifted and the boundary lengthened but that has yet to be approved by the Environment Court because the building has a Historic Places Trust grade one classification.

- The Press

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