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They outplayed us: NZ captain Latham gracious in defeat

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Mount Maunganui, Jan 5 (IANS) New Zealand captain Tom Latham was gracious in an eight-wicket defeat to Bangladesh at the Bay Oval, saying the tourists outplayed them through all five days of the match.

He also rued the batting performance of his team, which eventually allowed Bangladesh to run away with the match.

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Bangladesh’s stunning eight-wicket win in the first Test of 2022 ended the Blackcaps’ 17-match winning streak in home conditions.

“It was obviously a disappointing performance from day one. The position we were in at lunch time and then on, we simply weren’t at our best. We know how we can be with the bat and the ball; it is just a case of trying to do things for longer. We managed to build partnerships through that first innings but losing six (five) for 70 on day two didn’t allow us to get to the 400-450 run mark,” said Latham in the virtual press conference.

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Latham was in praise of Bangladesh’s efforts of outplaying the hosts in the first Test.

“Bangladesh showed exactly how to operate in the first innings. Bangladesh pushed themselves to the front of the game and put us under a lot of pressure through their batting innings. They (Bangladesh) were confident and bowled really well. Full respect to them, they certainly outplayed us throughout the five days.”

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Latham believed Bangladesh’s bowlers did better than the hosts’ bowling attack. Bangladesh first kept New Zealand to 328 in the first innings. After taking a lead of 130, they rallied back to bowl out New Zealand for 169.

“We haven’t played a lot of cricket here. It is not a huge amount of information, whether we could have gone a little bit straighter earlier and whether we could have attacked the stumps a little bit more earlier on. But the ball was always swinging throughout the innings and they obviously played the short ball really well and showed us the lengths we needed to bowl. They got enough out of the surface to trouble us.”

The 29-year-old Latham felt New Zealand hadn’t been complacent after winning the inaugural World Test Championship title and expects the hosts to bounce back in the second Test.

“We know it is a new two-year cycle. What we did last time was outstanding. It was a pretty special time. The focus has quickly shifted to the two-year cycle here. We started over in India.

“This is the first Test of our home summer. We are certainly not resting on (our laurels). We know we have to turn up and play our brand of cricket. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite do that. We have a chance in a few days to put another good performance on the board.”

The second Test will begin at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch from Sunday. It will also be veteran Kiwi batter Ross Taylor’s last Test match as he will retire from international cricket after the home summer.

–IANS

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