Blackcaps v Bangladesh: Spinners' pitch plays havoc with batting orders, as 15 wickets fall on opening day at Mirpur

After a bizarre day of test cricket at Mirpur, New Zealand are struggling to match a modest first-innings total from homeside Bangladesh on a pitch that saw 15 wickets fall over the space of 80 overs.

Chasing just 172 runs in the first innings, the Blackcaps have been reduced to 55/5 in a contest that already seems unlikely to last the full five days.

Undoubtedly the most controversial moment of the day came, when Bangladesh batter Mushfiqur Rahim, who seemed most at ease in the tricky conditions, undid himself with a brain explosion that saw him handle the ball, after playing a defensive shot to Kyle Jamieson.

Blackcaps celebrate a wicket against Bangladesh.
Blackcaps celebrate a wicket against Bangladesh. Photo credit: Getty Images

The Blackcaps field immediately appealed in unison and after a brief period of consultation, mainly to determine whether the ball was still on the pitch, umpires gave Mushfiqur out.

With their side struggling early at 47/4, Mushfiqur and Shahadat Hossain had compiled a 57-run partnership - the biggest of the day - to drag Bangladesh into triple figures, but their good work was somewhat undone by the dismissal - just the seventh such incident in tests.

The Bangladesh lower order eventually carried their team to a total considered below par, with spinners Glenn Phillips, Mitch Santner and Ajaz Patel taking eight wickets among them, and NZ captain Tim Southee snatching the other, without conceding a run in 5.2 overs.

In response, the Kiwis were quickly in trouble, with openers Devon Conway and Tom Latham falling early, Henry Nicholls again gone cheaply, and Kane Williamson and Tom Blundell both departing in the penultimate over of a day that ended early for bad light.

The downfall of Williamson - the world's top-ranked test batter - who extended his own New Zealand record with a 29th test century at Sylhet last week, may prove the biggest blow for the tourists, with the master batter unable to keep a spinning, bouncing delivery down and undone by a brilliant reflex close-in catch by Shahadat.

New Zealand will resume on the second morning with Phillips (5) and Daryl Mitchell (12) at the crease, and the tailenders padded up, as they battle to level a series that marks the start of their third World Test Championship campaign.

Bangladesh 172 (Mushfiqur 35, Shahadat 31; Phillips 3/31, Santner 3/65) New Zealand 55/5 (Williamson 13, Mitchell 12no; Mehidy 3/17)

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