Relentless Ebadot topples New Zealand, delivering historic win for Tigers

On 15 occasions since Bangladesh began playing in the Test format in 2000, the Tigers have failed to beat the Black Caps — unsurprising, for a team with a poor track record in the long-form of the game and disappointing performances away from home.

And yet, at the start of the fifth day at Mount Manganui, the Black Caps stood at the mercy of the Tigers, on 147-5. The Kiwis’ only hope – to bat through enough of the day to deny Bangladesh a win.

The Tigers’ biggest obstacle? Ross Taylor, a pillar of New Zealand batting for over a decade.

Within ten minutes of the start of play on Thursday, Ebadot Hossain swung a delivery slightly into Taylor, who guided it onto his stumps. From there, it was a simple matter to close out the match and complete a major upset.

Ebadot, a seamer who started out as a volleyball player, is mostly known for the salute he does to celebrate a wicket. He is, after all, a soldier with the Bangladesh Air Force.

His Test career started slowly. He has played 11 matches in the format and took two years to reach 10 wickets. But that changed on Wednesday as he put up a blockbuster spell.

Ebadot had collected one scalp in the first innings and another in his first overs of the second. But it was his second spell on the fourth day that drew shrieks of delight from his captain Mominul Haque.

On his fourth over, Ebadot bowled out Will Young, who had just put up his second half-century of the Test and added 73 for the third wicket alongside Ross Taylor. Two deliveries later, he burst through the defence of Henry Nicholls. In his next over he caught Tom Blundell before the stumps.

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On Thursday he capped the Tigers’ historic win – their sixth overseas Test victory anywhere – by taking two wickets and ending with figures of 6-46, a record for a Bangladeshi pacer away from home.

It was a tough path for Ebadot, who has had to be patient since the start of his Test career.

“In the last two years, I have been working with (bowling coach) Ottis Gibson,” he said.

“Conditions are always flat at home. We are still learning how to bowl and reverse in away conditions. I am trying to hit the top of the stumps. I needed to be a little patient for success to come.”

Though he was delighted to be the focal point of Bangladesh’s first win against New Zealand in 21 years, Ebadot was looking ahead to grander achievements in the future.

“We set a goal this time. We raised our hands. We said, ‘we have to beat New Zealand on their own soil,'” he said.

“Now that we have defeated the Test champions, our next generation has to beat New Zealand.”

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