A jubilant Bangladesh have completed their finest ever Test victory abroad, ending world Test champions New Zealand’s 17-match unbeaten streak at home in a remarkable upset.
Ebadot Hossain, a former volleyball player for the Bangladesh Air Force who had a bowling average of 81.54 from 10 Tests coming into the series opener in Mount Maunganui, proved the unlikeliest of heroes as he ripped through the hosts with a terrific spell of 6-46.
After Bangladesh had seized a 130-run first-innings advantage, pacemen Ebadot and Taskin Ahmed (3-36) devastated NZ with skillful reverse-swing bowling to skittle them for just 169 on the game’s final morning.
Bangladesh then knocked off the required 40 runs in 16.5 overs to seal a historic win for the Tigers, who are ranked ninth on the ICC Test standings and missing legends Shakib al-Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah.
Ebadot, who has only played cricket for around five years, had almost single-handedly reduced the Black Caps to 5-147 at stumps on day four before completing his maiden five-wicket haul with his second ball of day five, producing a brilliant delivery that bowled outgoing star Ross Taylor (40).
Shoriful Islam and sub-fielder Taijul Islam then took stunning catches to all but seal Bangladesh’s first ever away Test win over a top-five ranked team and just their sixth victory abroad from 61 attempts.
Bangladesh had not previously won any of their 43 matches in New Zealand across all three formats, while the result also ends the Kiwis’ eight-series home win streak that stretched back to 2017.
Ebadot, a tall right-armer who snaps to attention and salutes when he takes a wicket, earned player-of-the-match honours.
“It’s a long story, volleyball player to Test cricketer,” Ebadot said. “But I’m a soldier of the Bangladesh Air Force and I know how to salute.
“On New Zealand soil over the last 11 years our brothers and our teams didn’t get any wins.
“But when we came to New Zealand we set a goal. We raised our hands and said ‘yes, we have to do it and we can do it on New Zealand soil.’
“New Zealand are Test champions so if we raise our hands and beat New Zealand on New Zealand soil our next generation will be able to beat them too.”
Led by Devon Conway’s 122, NZ managed 328 in their first innings but the loss of their last five wickets for 70 runs left them short of a strong total on a low, dry Bay Oval surface.
Captain Mominul Haque (88), Liton Das (86) and Mahmudul Joy (78) then fired the visitors to 458 to put the heat on a Black Caps top order missing their skipper and best batter Kane Williamson due to an elbow injury.
New Zealand captain Tom Latham said his side had been given a lesson on how to play Test cricket.
“We were short in all three facets,” he said. “Bangladesh showed us how to go about things on that wicket.
“They were able to build partnerships, to bowl well from both ends and build pressure and unfortunately we weren’t able to do it for long enough.”
The second Test begins in Christchurch on Sunday.