The Wellington Test between New Zealand and Bangladesh was ruined by rain for the first two and a half days. Yet, Bangladesh lost. New Zealand, boosted by Ross Taylor's brilliant double century and a fantastic spell of hostile fast bowling from Neil Wagner helped Kane Williamson's side clinch the Test by an innings and 12 runs to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. The result is remarkable considering that on a green pitch at the Basin Reserve, Bangladesh had made an excellent start but New Zealand needed all their skill to pull the game back. The victory continued New Zealand's dominant run against Bangladesh, who once again failed to capitalise on key moments in the match.
Tamim Iqbal had given Bangladesh a great start when he countered the green, seaming conditions in Wellington by smashing 74 while Liton Das chipped in with 33 as Bangladesh reached 211. In the first innings, it was Neil Wagner who did the damage with 4/28. In response, New Zealand lost Jeet Raval and Tom Latham cheaply but Kane Williamson, along with Ross Taylor, steadied the ship with a brilliant stand. The 172-run stand was broken when Williamson was caught and bowled by Taijul Islam for 74. However, Taylor tore the Bangladesh attack to shreds with a magnificent display of hitting.
Taylor notched up his 18th century and he was well assisted by Henry Nicholls, who also hit a century as the 216-run stand gave New Zealand a 221-run lead. Taylor notched up 200 and when he reached the milestone, he just raised his bat twice and whispered a 'silent prayer'. Taylor had fulfilled the prophecy of Martin Crowe when he said he would go past his tally of 17 centuries, which was the highest for some time by a New Zealand player, in the coming years. The touching tribute by Taylor drew admiration from plenty of fans. “I told Hogan (Crowe) 'my apologies' for taking so long to get there. Seventeen was such a big number when I just started playing cricket. Once I got there it was probably a bit of a relief and then I didn't kick on. It was probably a little in my subconscious,” Taylor said.
Declaring at 432/6, Bangladesh were once again undone by the pace and hostility of Wagner and the swing of Trent Boult. Mahmudullah was the only player to display confidence as the Bangladesh batting folded. He notched up his fifty off just 51 balls but the rest of the batting failed to support him. Boult ended with 4/52 while Wagner showed his class again with a hostile spell of 5/45 as New Zealand won the series on the final day.
The final Test of New Zealand's international summer will be played at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on March 16.