Bangladesh secured a huge Test upset, downing the World Test Champions New Zealand away from home by eight wickets in the first Test of their two-Test series.
The Black Caps began strongly on the back of a Devon Conway hundred, but the Tigers came back to restrict the hosts to 328 all out. They then responded with a strong team batting performance. All of their top eight made it into double figures, with four half-centuries, and a 47 from No.8 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, ensuring a total of 458.
Still, with less than two days left in the game, many assumed New Zealand would be able to bat to safety comfortably. Instead, Ebadot Hossain’s maiden Test five-for skittled the Kiwis for 169, with a dramatic collapse from 136-2 leaving the tourists needing 40 to win. Soon enough, history was secured.
The win was only Bangladesh’s sixth away from home, with four of the previous five coming against Zimbabwe and a West Indies side severely depleted during a player dispute.
It was also New Zealand’s first defeat at home in nearly five years and 17 Tests, with 13 wins and four draws in that time. This current side is regarded as perhaps their greatest ever, the first to reach the No.1 ranking in Tests as well as the inaugural winners of the World Test Championship. The result was therefore heralded as a joyous, unexpected one.
Bangladesh has beaten New Zealand, in New Zealand, without two of their best players. This could very well be the greatest upset in Test history. South Africa have had some incredible wins, plus India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka on the list of top upsets.
— Jarrod Kimber (@ajarrodkimber) January 5, 2022
An understrength Bangladesh beating New Zealand – world Test champions, unbeaten in 17 Tests at home, winning 8 of those by an innings – in New Zealand will be one of the great Test match upsets
— Tim Wigmore (@timwig) January 4, 2022
What was even more remarkable was the identity of the man who scripted Bangladesh’s surge with the ball. Before this game, Ebadot had the worst Test bowling average of any player in history with more than 10 wickets to their name. His 6-48 was the first five-for by a Bangladesh quick away from home, and their best-ever figures on the road by a seamer.
Before the first #NZvBAN Test, Ebadot Hossain averaged 81.5 with the ball, the worst of any bowler with more than 10 wickets. He’s currently got 4-38 to reduce NZ to effectively 6-5 in the third innings. Could be one of the great shock performances in one of the great shock wins
— Ben Gardner (@Ben_Wisden) January 4, 2022
There were also poignant recollections of Bangladesh’s last Test tour to New Zealand. That ended in tragic circumstances, with the final Test cancelled following the Christchurch mosque terror attack.
For me personally, this Test win brings a strange emotion. I was in Christchurch in 2019 when the Test match got cancelled due to the Al Noor Mosque shooting.
To see them win their next Test in New Zealand, is personally a special occasion. #NZvBAN
— Mohammad Isam (@Isam84) January 5, 2022
There were numerous comparisons to the Ashes, with England’s travails put into sharp relief by a side ranked ninth in the world.
Drag yourself away from the minnow-bashing unfolding in Australia to the proper fairytale of Bangladesh in New Zealand. Distraction tactics, moi? #ashes
— Isabelle Westbury (@izzywestbury) January 4, 2022
Genuinely more excited for the conclusion of New Zealand v Bangladesh tonight than the Ashes.
— Adam Sutherland (@ADSutherland_) January 4, 2022
Those forced to choose between watching Bangladesh make history and England play a dead rubber against Australia were helped by a fortuitous rain delay, with the toss and start of play put back by half an hour at the SCG.
Play has been delayed by half an hour at the SCG so we can all watch Bangladesh's march to a historic Test victory over New Zealand. Great gesture from Cricket Australia.
— Dan Liebke (@LiebCricket) January 4, 2022
Just as Bangladesh secured victory, rain fell again. Or perhaps Australia and England just wanted to bask in Bangladesh’s win, like the rest of the cricketing world was.