Not a single ball was bowled as rain washed out day one of the second Test between New Zealand and Bangladesh at the Basin Reserve.

Heavy rain lashed a dark and gloomy Wellington, where the coin toss was delayed with players kept away from the soggy field on Friday.

Umpires finally abandoned play at 15:00 local time, with the Test scheduled to start 30 minutes earlier on Saturday.

Bangladesh are looking to level the three-Test series after losing the opener by an innings and 52 runs in Hamilton.

Jack Russell thinks Ben Foakes has been harshly treated by England and urged the selectors to stop "chopping and changing" the Test side with the Ashes on the horizon.

Foakes was named player of the series in Sri Lanka, averaging 69.25 after scoring a century on debut in Galle and impressing with the gloves.

The wicketkeeper-batsman was dropped for the third and final Test in the series defeat to West Indies as Keaton Jennings was surprisingly recalled and Jonny Bairstow went back behind the stumps.

Former England wicketkeeper Russell believes Foakes was hard done by but says Bairstow can go from strength to strength if he retains the role.

Russell told Omnisport: "I wish we'd stop chopping and changing because it's doing my head in and that's no good. I don't think it's good for anyone.

"I think Foakes is the most natural keeper and was unlucky to get dropped, that surprised me. He came in and did really well. I don't know if they are trying to cut corners, but I thought he was going to be there for a while because he looks a good all-round cricketer.

"I don't understand why that had to happen. I don't know the real ins and outs but there were some interesting selections [in the Caribbean], let's put it that way.

"Having said that, Jonny does a good job. He is getting better and better all the time. Jos [Buttler] will obviously not do the job in the longer format.

"The more Jonny keeps the better he will get and he has improved a lot since South Africa, where he had one or two issues. He's come on a lot and he's the real thing now."

Legendary West Indies fast bowler turned commentator Michael Holding has rejected the notion of an increase in the use of stump microphones, which some have argued will benefit the game of cricket.

Debate in the public sphere has raged, as of late, after the devices played the role in the sanctioning of two players.  Windies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel was banned for four matches after being accused of directing a ‘homophobic’ jibe toward England captain Joe Root.

In an ODI against South Africa, Pakistan’s Sarfraz Ahmed was picked up on the stump mic making a racist comment to Andile Phehlukwayo and was also subsequently banned for four matches. 

Proponents of the argument have pointed to the positives of both outcomes and argued that an increase in microphones would also bring fans closer to players.  Holding, however, vehemently disagrees with the idea.  

"I had a conversation on air here in South Africa where I voiced my opinion on the stumps microphones being left on at all times.  It’s a backward step as far as I’m concerned,” Holding told Mumbai Mirror.

“The field of play and the dressing room belong to the combatants and the excuse being offered that it helps the viewers to enjoy the game is very lame.  If the public needs to hear the players on the field, it simply means the product being offered has a problem,” he added.

 

 

Kane Williamson said New Zealand found it "as tough as Test cricket gets" to finish off spirited Bangladesh on day four of the first Test.

Soumya Sarkar (149) and captain Mahmudullah (146) held up the Black Caps with a magnificent fifth-wicket stand of 235 at Seddon Park on Sunday.

New Zealand wasted no time in wrapping up victory by an innings and 52 runs after the Tigers' sixth-best partnership in the longest format was ended when Trent Boult (5-123) cleaned up Sarkar.

Willamson, who made an unbeaten double century as his side posted their record Test score of 715-6 declared on day three, praised Bangladesh's fight after they were dismissed for 429 to fall behind in the three-match series.

"I thought the fight today was as tough as Test cricket gets," the captain said. "Yes, it was nice to be a long way ahead of the game but today was really tough Test cricket.

"It is what we expect, and we know Wellington is going to be another tough match."

He added: "I think it was a massive challenge for all the bowlers today. We were hopeful of wickets late in the evening yesterday, which was nice.

"But coming back today with Bangladesh having more freshness, we knew it was going to be a big workload for the bowlers. They were just trying to stick with plans for a long period, and perhaps force an error.

"I don't think any plan is sustainable forever. Bangladesh were brilliant how they adapted with that tactic. It didn't work very well for us today, so we had to go back to stop their quick scoring."

Centuries from Mahmudullah Riyad and Soumya Sarkar could not prevent Bangladesh falling to defeat by an innings and 52 runs on Sunday, as New Zealand took a 1-0 lead in the Test series.

The Black Caps gained total control of the opening match in Hamilton after Kane Williamson's double century of 200 not out allowed the hosts to post a mammoth 715-6 declared in their first innings.

Having been bowled out for 234 batting first, the tourists faced a tough task attempting to delay the inevitable at Seddon Park, where they resumed on 174-4 early on day four.

Sarkar and Mahmudullah built impressively on their overnight scores of 39 and 15 respectively, the former playing freely to reach 149 from just 171 deliveries, an uninhibited knock that included 21 fours and five sixes.

Having put on 235 runs for the fifth wicket alongside the captain, he was eventually dislodged by Trent Boult (5-123) with the second new ball, Sarkar attempting to play a flick across the line and missing, the ball clipping back pad and dislodging off stump. 

Liton Das (1), Mehidy Hasan Miraz (1) and Abu Jayed (3), the latter providing Boult with his five-for, failed to offer an effective foil for Mahmudullah, who nevertheless survived to reach 146, before Tim Southee (3-98) intervened.

An attempt by the Tigers' skippers to thread a shot between point and third man proved too high, and was taken by Boult at deep point. Mahmudullah, though, could be proud of his highest Test score, with hooked sixes off Neil Wagner and two back-foot drives through cover, the latter coming at the expense of Boult, particularly easy on the eye. 

The captain gone, Bangladesh's entertaining resistance ended with a whimper on 429 all out when Ebadat Hossain went for a duck, caught behind edging Southee to BJ Watling, who passed Adam Parore as the New Zealand wicketkeeper with the most dismissals to his name. 

The hosts will have an opportunity to seal the series when the second Test starts in Wellington on Friday, followed by the third and final match in Christchurch later this month. 

Craig McMillan revelled in an historic batting day for New Zealand as they racked up a record score in the first Test against Bangladesh.

Skipper Kane Williamson contributed exactly 200 not out to back up centuries from openers Tom Latham and Jeet Raval, while Colin de Grandhomme blasted an unbeaten 76 from just 53 balls as the Black Caps posted 715-6 on day three.

The Tigers are facing a crushing defeat after ending the third day on 174-4 in their second innings, trailing by 307 runs.

"It was right up there," batting coach McMillan said of New Zealand's first-innings display.

"Obviously, it was historic in the amount of runs scored, and the contributions throughout the innings makes it very special, and one that the guys are really proud of."

The prolific Williamson became the fourth New Zealander to reach the 6,000-run mark in Tests, after Stephen Fleming, Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum.

"He was sublime today," added McMillan. "Whenever the Bangladeshi bowlers missed, he hurt them, he was very efficient when they offered scoring opportunities and created those partnerships that we talk a lot about.

"It's not easy, and it takes a lot of hard work behind the scenes that allows him to play like that. He's very hard to bowl at as he bats 360 degrees - all around the wicket.

"Bowlers only have to err a fraction with Kane, and he hurts them, and we saw that today. A terrific knock all around."

Kane Williamson posted an unbeaten double century and New Zealand joined the 700-run club to close in on a mammoth win over Bangladesh in the opening match.

Williamson's second 200-score led New Zealand to 715-6 before they declared in Hamilton on Saturday – the Black Caps becoming the seventh Test nation to breach the 700-run mark after Sri Lanka, India, Australia, West Indies, England and Pakistan.

It also saw New Zealand surpass their previous best Test score of 690 against Pakistan in 2014 as the hosts earned a 481-run lead against Bangladesh at Seddon Park on day three.

And New Zealand are poised to wrap up a comprehensive victory – the tourists 174-4 at stumps and still 307 runs adrift with two full days remaining.

Sent in to bat again following their 234 in the first innings, Bangladesh looked quite comfortable as they reached 88 without loss thanks to Tamim Iqbal (74) and Shadman Islam (37).

But when Shadman fell to Neil Wagner (1-48), Bangladesh lost their way, with Trent Boult (2-53) and fellow quick Tim Southee (1-54) leaving the guests with a mountain to climb.

Resuming on 451-4, Williamson and New Zealand wasted little time as the Black Caps skipper and his team-mates scored freely in a demoralising performance.

Williamson – 93 not out at the start of play – brought up his 20th Test century from just 143 balls as he became the fourth New Zealand batsman to score 6,000 runs in the longest format of the game before lunch, joining Stephen Fleming, Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum.

Only two New Zealand wickets fell on Saturday – Wagner the first to go off Ebadat Hossain (1-107) after a quick-fire 47 from 35 deliveries.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz got the wicket of BJ Watling (31) but he endured a miserable innings as he finished with figures of 246-2, while Colin de Grandhomme (76) finished not out alongside Williamson.

Soumya Sarkar (39) and Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah Riyad (15) will resume at the crease on Sunday after Mominul Haque (8) and Mohammad Mithun (0) fell cheaply.

Morne Morkel fears many more players will turn their back on South Africa and sign Kolpak deals after Duanne Olivier joined Yorkshire.

Olivier has made a big impact for the Proteas after forcing his way back into the Test side late last year and was handed a one-day international debut against Pakistan last month.

The seamer this week dealt a blow to South Africa by calling time on his international career to take up a three-year contract with Yorkshire just two years after Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw signed Kolpak deals with Hampshire.

Morkel - who joined Surrey after ending his South Africa career - is concerned others will follow suit unless Cricket South Africa [CSA] act to prevent an exodus.

The former South Africa paceman told cricket.com.au: "They [CSA] have to sit down and come up with plans because they're going to lose a lot of players in the near future and they need to protect against that.

"Do you structure the contracting a little bit better? What security do you give the guys [for] life after cricket? You talk about investing, but once a guy retires, they sort of drift away. I can name a number of players who they have invested a lot of money in, but you don't see them coaching, you don't see them involved with our academies.

"Give those guys a platform and say, 'We've invested in you for so many years, when you're thinking of settling down or moving on, this is where we see a role for you'.

"I think that communication is not great at the moment so that's something they can improve on.

"I was settled in the team so, for me, it was easier to put offers aside and focus on playing with South Africa.

"It's harder for those guys who are in and out of the team. If the communication channels aren't great and you're not sure where you fit in, that's where the biggest challenge comes in. Communication is the key in any business.

"It's never nice…it always paints a bad picture of cricket in South Africa. But that's unfortunately part of our DNA and the struggles we have in South Africa."

Jeet Raval followed opening partner Tom Latham's "blueprint" to score a maiden Test century as New Zealand built a big lead on day two of the first Test against Bangladesh.

Raval reached three figures for the first time for his country on Friday, making 132 in an opening stand of 254 with Latham at Seddon Park, where the Blacks Caps closed on 451-4 in reply to the tourists' 234 all out.

The left-hander said watching the way Latham went about scoring an unbeaten double hundred and 176 against Sri Lanka in December helped him register a Test-best total.

"He did it against Sri Lanka, so for me it was a blueprint for how I wanted to go about my game," said Raval.

"I just tried to take a lesson from Tom's game and apply that in my game, and it was very nice.

"We kept it as simple as possible and made sure we stick to our own individual plans and made sure that when the bowlers do get tired, then we capitalise on the opportunities and just build small partnerships and small targets for ourselves, and not look too far ahead.

"Ultimately it was nice to get that big partnership."

Raval added: "I was making sure of working on my discipline and the focus I wanted to build on especially getting starts and not being able to go on and get a big one for the team.

"It was all about looking at what the bowler was trying to do and having the mind set on the game plan that I wanted to apply at that stage and just play to the situation.

"I wasn't really thinking about my hundred and eventually bowlers start to get tired towards the end of their spells and I was able to capitalise and the runs came."

Jeet Raval scored his maiden century as New Zealand dominated Bangladesh on day two of the first Test in Hamilton.

Playing his 17th Test, Raval finally ended his wait for a ton, making 132 at Seddon Park on Friday.

The 30-year-old capitalised on a docile pitch as the Black Caps pushed to 451-4 at stumps, leading by 217 to be well on top in the series opener.

Tom Latham (161), Kane Williamson (93 not out) and Henry Nicholls (53) also made runs against a Bangladesh attack struggling to create chances.

Resuming at 86-0, Raval and Latham were untroubled to start the day, although there were some brief, and minor, signs of variable bounce.

There was no denying Raval, who made a chance-less century – his first since his Test debut in November 2016.

Raval smashed Ebadat Hossain (0-77) for back-to-back boundaries to bring up the milestone.

Dropped when he was yet to score on day one, Latham made the most of his life, although he endured a nervous moment getting to his century.

The left-hander's top edge went for four as a hopeful fielder came around on the boundary, bringing up his ninth Test ton.

Raval fell to Mahmudullah (1-3) to end a 254-run opening stand before Latham departed, Mohammad Mithun taking a great diving catch off Soumya Sarkar (2-57).

Only Ross Taylor (4) missed out of New Zealand's top-order, trapped lbw by Soumya.

Williamson and Nicholls combined for a 100-run stand, broken when the latter left a Mehidy Hasan (1-149) delivery that hit his off stump in the third last over of the day.

New Zealand recovered from a poor start on day one to get into a good position in the first Test against Bangladesh in Hamilton.

Tamim Iqbal (126) put the Black Caps on the back foot after the hosts chose to bowl on a green wicket at Seddon Park on Thursday.

But Bangladesh were unable to capitalise on the opener's fine innings, Neil Wagner (5-47) starring as they were bowled out for 234.

New Zealand made the most of Wagner's performance, Jeet Raval (51) and Tom Latham (35) guiding them to 86-0 at stumps – trailing by just 148 runs.

Such a position looked unlikely as Tamim punished some uncharacteristically poor bowling from Tim Southee (3-76) and Trent Boult (1-62).

Boult got one to move away late to bowl Shadman Islam (24) with the score on 57, but Tamim continued at a rapid rate.

Colin de Grandhomme (1-39) gave Tamim a life on 65, unable to hold onto a catchable return chance.

The left-hander produced a flurry of boundaries in the opening session and at one stage looked capable of becoming just the seventh player in history to get to a century before lunch on day one.

However, Wagner slowed the tourists down and landed a blow before lunch, Mominul Haque (12) gloving a short ball through to BJ Watling.

Tamim brought up a wonderful ninth Test century off 100 balls by pulling Wagner to the boundary – his 18th of the innings – in the second session.

But he would get limited support as Wagner's short-ball plan worked, Mohammad Mithun (8) falling before Southee got Soumya Sarkar (1).

Tamim's superb innings was ended with a poor shot, picking out Kane Williamson at gully off De Grandhomme.

Liton Das (29) and Mahmudullah (22) added some lower-order runs, but Wagner's sixth five-wicket Test haul saw Bangladesh bowled for 234 as they lost 113-9.

With momentum already on New Zealand's side, Bangladesh let an opportunity to change that slip in just the second over with the ball.

Debutant Ebadat Hossain (0-26) had Latham edging to second slip, but the chance was put down.

That would be the only slight worry for Raval or Latham, who eased to stumps to put the Black Caps on top.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is taking nothing for granted in his side's home Test series against Bangladesh.

The first of three matches begins in Hamilton on Thursday, with the Black Caps heavy favourites for a series win.

Yet Williamson is wary of an upset, believing every opponent poses a threat and pinpointing Sri Lanka's away victory at South Africa as an example of a surprise result.

"There have been some upsets for some very strong teams," Williamson said. "As we know, teams can get together as a group and play some very good cricket.

"Every team in international cricket is a threat. They're all very, very talented.

"We saw Sri Lanka over in South Africa, which was a fantastic effort. It's hard to beat a side like South Africa anywhere – let alone in their backyard. Anybody can beat anybody.

"It's about playing your best cricket and focusing on what you are trying to achieve as a team."

Williamson confirmed that Todd Astle will play the first Test, with Matt Henry and Will Young not involved.

Former England Test captain Alastair Cook has refused to completely rule out a comeback should Joe Root's side need him.

Cook called time on his stellar career after his 161st Test in September, the opener ending in style with a fine 147 in a thumping 118-run win over India at the Oval.

Since he stepped away England have struggled for stability at the top of the order – with Rory Burns, Keaton Jennings and Joe Denly all failing to impress on a consistent basis during recent tours of Sri Lanka and the West Indies.

With a home Ashes series looming later in 2019, some have suggested England may try and tempt Cook back to the international scene to aid their hopes of regaining the urn.

And while not ruling out the possibility, Cook has no regrets about bowing out in 2018. 

"You can never say no totally, because you don't know what will happen in the future," Cook told Sky Sports after collecting his knighthood at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.

"I had an amazing 12 years and had times and experiences which I could never repeat.

"The way I finished at The Oval was special, that will be my memory of wearing the three lions more times than I ever thought I would.

"That cap will stay in the drawer but I will look back with great memories of it. I can look back smiling with no regrets."

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has lamented Duanne Olivier's decision to turn his back on international cricket in order to sign a three-year contract with English county Yorkshire, describing the move as "not good news for the global game".

Yorkshire announced the capture of Olivier on Tuesday, with the 26-year-old seamer committing to a Kolpak deal that will make him unavailable for his country.

Olivier has recently cemented his place in South Africa's Test team - earning player-of-the-series honours in the rubber with Pakistan - and broken into the top 20 of the ICC's Test bowling rankings for the first time, but he described his move to Yorkshire as the "best option for both myself and my family".

He follows the likes of Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw, who both joined Hampshire two years ago, in sacrificing his career with the Proteas to accept a county deal.

In a statement, CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe said: "We find it extremely disappointing that Duanne has taken this step after all the opportunities we have given him, particularly over the past season and going forward, to live his dream of being an international cricketer.

"He was upgraded to a national contract during the current season on the strength of his outstanding performances in our Test squad and we offered him a two-year contract which would have given him financial security through to the end of the 2020-2021 season.

"He was not short of opportunity either as he played in all six Test matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka during the current summer and was also considered for white-ball selection.

"If one looks at the bigger picture this is not good news for the global game either, that a player who has just broken into the top 20 on the ICC Test match bowling rankings for the first time should opt effectively to bring down the curtain on his international career in favour of playing only in domestic leagues."

South Africa head coach Ottis Gibson echoed Moroe's comments and outlined the efforts made to retain the paceman, adding: "We are naturally disappointed with Duanne's decision to sign a Kolpak contract. He has been a key feature for us this summer and was without a doubt one of our standout performers.

"We held several meetings with him regarding his future with the Proteas throughout the summer and even offered him a two-year contract. To see him cut short a promising international career is disappointing. Ultimately, it was a decision we could not control despite our best efforts."

South Africa quick Duanne Olivier has turned his back on international cricket after signing a Kolpak contract with County Championship side Yorkshire.

Olivier this week broke into the top 20 of the ICC's Test bowling rankings but has now committed to Yorkshire for the next three years.

It continues a worrying trend for the Proteas, with the likes of Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw having previously left the South African system to commit to Kolpak deals, whereby players do not have to be registered as overseas signings.

Olivier conceded it was a tough call to make but felt Yorkshire's offer was too good to turn down.

"I would be lying if I said this wasn't a difficult decision to make," he said via a statement released by Yorkshire. 

"It's giving up playing for my country with no guarantees of playing international cricket again. 

"But at the end of the day, I needed to be true to myself. I've only got this one chance to see where my talent can take me and Yorkshire just felt right to me." 

Olivier has played 10 Tests since making his debut in January 2017 and was named Man of the Series in South Africa's 2-1 series win over Pakistan – taking 24 wickets across the three matches.

He took a further seven in the recent two-match series with Sri Lanka, which ended in defeat for South Africa.

"I would say I've been in good form for the last few years. It has definitely been my most consistent period and I think my stats could attest to that," he added. 

"I have definitely enjoyed playing Test cricket. The Pakistan tour was by far my stand-out tour. I loved every moment of that tour. It's definitely one I won't forget." 

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