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Cricket news - Bangladesh succumb to Wagner's short ball tactic

Neil Wagner employed his tried and tested short ball strategy to make incisions at regular intervals.

Neil Wagner employed his tried and tested short ball strategy to make incisions at regular intervals as New Zealand seized control of the proceedings against Bangladesh at Tea on Day 3 in Wellington. The visitors were bowled out for 211 on the brink of Tea break.

Bangladesh, who commenced on 127 for 3, continued to struggle against deliveries that were dug in on a shorter length. Tamim Iqbal (74), who played with authority in the morning session, was the first one to be dismissed after the Lunch break. The southpaw opener attempted to pull Wagner but could only top edge it to Tim Southee.

Soumya Sarkar gave a glimpse of his skills by lofting a fuller length delivery from Matt Henry into the downtown territories. However, he too couldn't resist from employing the pull stroke as he fell to Henry with BJ Watling pouching the catch behind the stumps.

Mahmudullah, who looked uncomfortable against Wagner, was the next one to be dismissed. The middle order batsman tamely pushed a back of a length delivery to the fielder stationed at midwicket. At that juncture, Liton Das joined forces with Taijul Islam to take Bangladesh to a score of some respectability.

Liton essayed a couple of sublime drives and also showed a bit of improvisation by backing away to slap Wagner through point. The duo also had a few scares on the way before Trent Boult bagged Taijul's scalp with the inswinger. The pacer also castled Mustafizur Rahman with the one that angled in a touch in the same over. On the other hand, Rahman paid the price for an error in misjudgement. To make matters worse, Tim Southee and Boult combined to remove Liton and Abu Jayed to provide the finishing touches. Incidentally, Bangladesh lost their last four wickets for just five runs.

Earlier, After the first two days were washed out, rain finally relented on Day 3 as Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bowl. However, on a track with a very good covering of grass, Tamim cut, drove and pulled the able duo of Tim Southee and Trent Boult to give the tourists a solid start. Shadman Islam also collected a few boundaries to keep the scorecard ticking over.

Meanwhile, both Southee and Boult were below par with the ball in their respective first spells. On occasions, the duo extracted a bit of nip off the surface to trouble the openers but struggled for control. The pair also found very little swing. It was Henry, arguably the best seamer in the morning session, who found enough movement off the pitch to put some pressure on Shadman and Tamim.

Colin de Grandhomme also bowled with good discipline at the other end and eventually, was rewarded with the scalp of Shadman. Despite losing his batting partner, Tamim continued to play a mature hand and soon reached his fifty by steering Henry to backward point. Unfortunately for Bangladesh, they yet again couldn't find an answer to navigate through the short ball tactics of Wagner as they lost Mominul Haque and Mohammad Mithun before the break. Both batsmen successfully reviewed caught behind decisions but succumbed to the very next ball in the 33rd and 35th over respectively.

The Bangladesh camp would be ruing some of the soft dismissals against the short ball. Despite a healthy grass covering, the home side's pacers didn't find much assistance. So New Zealand would fancy their chances of gaining a substantial lead.

Brief scores: Bangladesh 211 (Tamim Iqbal 74; Neil Wagner 4-28, Trent Boult 3-38) vs New Zealand

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