Throwback: Bangladesh tour of New Zealand in 2007/08

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Bangladesh visited New Zealand for the second time in December 2007 which was indeed their first complete tour of New Zealand. Mohammad Ashraful was then skipper and Jamie Siddons was very much optimistic with his team. Bangladesh lost all the international matches in that tour but laid the stone of confidence which boosted them up to become a competitive side under the supervision of Siddons.

The first ODI at Auckland was started with sheer prospects for Bangladesh. Tamim Iqbal scored a fifty and Ashraful, the skipper, dominated Kiwi bowlers prevalently by scoring 70 runs in just 57 balls. By the end of 28th over, Bangladesh reached 150 and were on the way to set a big target for Kiwis. But after Ashraful’s departure, middle order collapsed atrociously which cost Bangladesh to become 154/7 from 150/3. Despite the fight-back from Mashrafe and Razzak at the end, Bangladesh got all out by 201 runs. New Zealand passed that total swiftly and won by 6 wickets.

Mohammad Ashraful looks to play behind the wicket during his furious innings of 72 run (Getty image)
Mohammad Ashraful looks to play behind the wicket during his furious innings of 72 run (Getty image)

Second and third ODI of the series had witnessed the destruction of Kiwi batsmen. New Zealand scored 335 runs in the second ODI at Napier and Bangladesh had to score 284 runs from 43 overs in the rain stricken second innings of the match to win. Aftab Ahmed scored a fifty and Tamim Iqbal also played a good knock of 43 runs. But eventually they could manage to score 181 runs for 6 wickets. In the third ODI at Queenstown, Bangladeshi batsman wobbled against Vettori who single handedly demolished Bangladesh innings and took 5 wickets giving only 7 runs. Bangladesh only managed to score 93 runs playing 37.5 overs. In reply, McCullum was furious and scored 80 runs in just 31 balls. New Zealand won the match by 10 wickets with 264 balls to spare.

Bangladesh played two test matches at Dunedin and Wellington but their poor batsmanship was carried on all through the series. In both tests they batted first and couldn’t pass the 150 mark. However, in the first test Tamim Iqbal was majestic and scored back to back half centuries which was his debut test as well. In the second innings, Tamim and Junaid made a record 161 opening partnership but after their departure no other batsman could score a decent score and eventually got all out by 254 runs. Second test was a complete humiliation for Bangladeshi batsmen as they got all out by 143 and 113 runs in the first and second innings consecutively. They lost the game by an innings and 137 runs.

Tamim Iqbal notched up a second fifty on Test debut (Getty image)
Tamim Iqbal notched up a second fifty on Test debut (Getty image)

Bangladesh failed to cope up with the condition completely- it’s true; but some of the players really showed their character in that series. Tamim Iqbal showed his talent all through the series and scored 4 fifties. Junaid Siddique was also showing promises to become a capable opening partner of Tamim. Bangladesh lost the test series miserably, but Mashrafe and Shahadat bowled exceedingly well and were seemed to extract the advantage of bowling in seamy conditions.

Mashrafe Mortaza bowled an incisive spell with the new ball in the first test
Mashrafe Mortaza bowled an incisive spell with the new ball in the first test (Getty image)
Junaid Siddique and Tamim Iqbal made 161 opening partnership (Getty image)
Junaid Siddique and Tamim Iqbal made 161 opening partnership (Getty image)

These good gestures helped Siddons to become optimistic who said, “The team has potential and it will be visible after three to four months. The potential of our opening bowlers (Mashrafe and Shahadat) is enormous. The potential of our opening batsmen (Tamim and Junaid) is pretty enormous as well.” However, Siddons also argued that the development of the national team as a competitive side would take a while. “I have to say two years as my contract is for that period but it may even take longer to reach the level where we can compete properly with New Zealand in New Zealand, which is a tough ask for any international cricket team.”