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Tom Latham says New Zealand will go for the win on the final day

New Zealand Tom Latham
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – JANUARY 14: Tom Latham of New Zealand celebrates his century during day three of the First Test match between New Zealand and Bangladesh at Basin Reserve on January 14, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

New Zealand opener Tom Latham who scored a brilliant 177 against Bangladesh in the opening Test at Wellington said that the Kiwis will “certainly” look to chase down whatever target Bangladesh set them in the 2nd essay if they can bowl them quickly enough on the final day morning. The key to bowling them out, he said, would be to sow “doubt” in their batsmen’s minds.

The hosts entertained the thoughts of winning the Test after the visitors lost 3 quick wickets on the 4th day at Basin Reserve. Bangladesh ended the day’s play at 66/3, 122 ahead of New Zealand. But in addition to their lacklustre batting, they had an injury issue with Imrul Kayes after the southpaw left the field with a thigh injury. The wickets to fall in Bangladesh’s 2nd essay were opener Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah and night-watchman Mehedi Hasan. From a score of 46-0, Bangladesh was reduced to 66/3.

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“I wouldn’t say you sense the panic [in the Bangladesh batsmen], but we’ve got three world-class seamers and a very good spinner. If we can put the ball in good areas for long enough then hopefully we can create that doubt,” Latham, who registered his highest Test score of 177 in getting New Zealand to 539. If we can keep taking wickets in clumps and if they don’t build any partnerships, that’s the key for us,” Latham was quoted as saying by the ESPN Cricinfo.

“Possibly it might start going up and down and might start turning a little bit more. I still think it’s a very good batting surface, though, and if we are chasing a score partnerships will be a key to winning. We like to play a winning brand of cricket and whatever the score is, hopefully, it’s a reasonable chase and we’ll certainly be having a go at it. It’s a massive day tomorrow and that first hour is going to set the tone.”

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Latham revealed that Neil Wagner was fine despite being hit three times during his brief stay at the crease. He was first hit on the helmet by Kamrul Islam Rabbi before the same bowler struck him of consecutive deliveries to unsettle the left-arm pacer. One of the deliveries left him with a cut on his chin.

“It’s never nice to see a team-mate get hit,” Latham said. “The medical team were out there and they were assessing him, and we’ve got to leave it in their hands. He was fine, he’s a pretty tough character,” Latham concluded.

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