New Zealand opener Tom Latham has said his team will "certainly" be looking to go after whatever target Bangladesh set, if they can bowl them out quickly enough on day five. The key to bowling them out, he said, would be to sow "doubt" in their batsmen's minds.
That the hosts could even think of chasing a win was down to Bangladesh's late collapse on day four at Basin Reserve. The visitors ended 122 ahead with seven wickets in hand, but, in addition to some carelessness in the final half hour, they also had injury issues: Imrul Kayes was stretchered off with a thigh injury, while Mushfiqur Rahim will have to bat with hurt fingers should he be needed. Among the wickets were Tamim Iqbal - bowled by left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner after misjudging the length on an attempted cut - Mahmudullah - caught down the leg side - and nightwatchman Mehedi Hasan run out looking for a second off what turned out to be the last ball of the day. Bangladesh slipped from 46 for no loss to 66 for 3.
"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, said. "If we can keep taking wickets in clumps and if they don't build any partnerships, that's the key for us.
"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."
Latham said that fast bowler Neil Wagner was fine despite being struck three times during his 31-ball innings. Wagner was first hit on the helmet by a Kamrul Islam Rabbi bouncer before the same pacer struck him twice more off consecutive balls, one of which 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."