One of test cricket's shortest batsmen, Mominul Haque stands tall against the Black Caps

Bangladesh's Mominul Haque played a faultless innings to keep his side on top of New Zealand on day one.

Bangladesh's Mominul Haque played a faultless innings to keep his side on top of New Zealand on day one.

He's one of the shortest cricketers in test history, but Mominul Haque knows how to stand tall against the Black Caps.

The 161cm tall left handed batsman was faultless in making 64 from 110 deliveries on the opening day of the first test between New Zealand and Bangladesh in Wellington.

In ending the day not out, Mominul increased his batting average to 53.8 in all test matches, and a staggering 220 against New Zealand.

His five innings against New Zealand to date have gone 181, 22no, 47, 126no, and Thursday's unbeaten 64.

* Bangladesh claim day one honours
* Gales bring cameramen down
* The coin toss of his life
* Recap: Black Caps v Bangladesh


Given the way Mominul is playing, in only his sixth test away from Bangladesh, his batting average could continue to soar and predictions of his demise on foreign soil prove far from fruition.

The way the 25-year-old goes about his batting is a joy to watch.

He started with patience, watching from the other end as Tamim Iqbal went at run-a-ball pace to open the innings. He left superbly outside off stump, waiting for the ball to fall into areas he could flick, or guide into gaps.

Iqbal said his team mate is built for test cricket because of his temperament and technique.

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"He's the kind of batsman who doesn't come out of his comfort zone," Tamim said. "He knows what he's doing and what he's capable of. That makes him a really good player."

Sometimes players from the subcontinent can struggle with the added pace and bounce of New Zealand wickets, but Mominul looked at ease as he used that pace to great effect.

When New Zealand over-pitched, particularly Colin de Grandhomme, Mominul pounced with several lovely off-drives, and a memorable flick over the leg side. 

If the ball was short, he would stand tall, a funny thing to say about a man of his stature, and steer the ball past point to the boundary.

His only moment of discomfort was a short ball which was top edged for six runs, only his second six in test cricket, as the Wellington wind dragged the ball over the fine leg rope. Even then the ball was nowhere near a fielder.

"What has helped him is he was with us from the beginning [of our tour]," Tamim said.

"That helped him a lot, to play in these conditions. He's been playing quite amazingly in his little test career and I'm sure he'll do well tomorrow as well."

The job for New Zealand will be to identify weaknesses, but on Thursday's showing there are few.

You'd expect a Neil Wagner short ball barrage will come at some point, but few players of Mominul's height struggle under that kind of examination. They've faced that bowling for their entire life.

Instead it will be about playing the waiting game and attempting to draw a loose shot. New Zealand will also hope to get the ball moving, something gale force winds didn't allow for on the opening day.

Wagner said Mominul clearly loves batting against New Zealand.

"I don't think much has changed from the last time I played him in Dhaka a few years ago," Wagner said.

"He's a pretty good batter and he showed a lot of patience. He obviously showed a lot of fight and he never really gave a chance. Obviously he loves batting against us."

 - Stuff


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