CHITTAGONG // Daniel Vettori completed a fine all-round display to lead New Zealand to a three-wicket victory over Bangladesh today. The Kiwi captain was instrumental in the first Test contributing with two fifties and a nine-wicket haul. Set 317 runs to win the opener of the two-match series, New Zealand cruised to the victory target in the final session of the fifth day with Vettori's contribution backed up by solid batting performances from Aaron Redmond and Daniel Flynn.
Resuming after the tea interval on 281-5, the nightwatchman Vettori fell for 76 and Flynn for 49 to leave Jacob Oram (8) and Kyle Mills to polish off the remaining few runs. Vettori was bowled by the left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak (3-93) while Flynn fell agonisingly short of a maiden Test 50 when he was bowled by Shakib Al Hasan when only one run was needed for victory. Shakib took 7-36 in the first innings and took a further two wickets in the second.
Earlier, Redmond contributed to his side's cause with his maiden Test half-century to help New Zealand complete a rally from a first innings deficit of 74 runs when they were skittled out for just 171 in reply to the home side's 245. Vettori's 4-74 (to go with his 5-59 in the first innings) helped restrict Bangladesh to 242 in the second innings, setting New Zealand up for a difficult run chase that they will be delighted to have achieved.
Resuming the final day on their overnight score of 145-2, New Zealand added 67 runs for the loss of two wickets before lunch, with opener Redmond falling for 79 when he was caught by Zunaed Siddique at slip off the bowling of the left-arm spinner Shakib. Playing in his fourth match, Redmond's score was his highest in Test cricket after the 29-year-old struggled to make an impact in his previous six innings against England earlier this year.
The paceman Mashrafe Mortaza (1-37) took the other wicket to fall in the morning when he had Ross Taylor caught at backward-point by the substitute fielder Mahbubul Alam for nine. Razzak also removed Brendan McCullum for two in the afternoon session, trapped lbw, but the visitors always had enough wickets in hand to reach their target. The second and final Test will be played in Dhaka from Oct 25-29.