Skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto showcased his prowess by securing his third Test century in four innings, steering Bangladesh towards a formidable second-innings total in the ongoing first Test against New Zealand in Sylhet on Thursday. At the close of the third day, the hosts stood at 212-3, leading New Zealand by 205 runs, with Najmul undefeated at 104. Former captain Mushfiqur Rahim played a crucial role, contributing an unbeaten 43 and establishing an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 96 runs with Najmul. This partnership added to Najmul’s earlier collaboration of 90 runs with Mominul Haque for the third wicket. Notably, Najmul has now become the first Bangladeshi cricketer to achieve a century in his debut Test as captain. Najmul reached his century – his fourth in Tests – with a single off Ajaz Patel in 191 balls, concluding the day with a stylish boundary. The left-hander’s innings, adorned with 10 fours, also saw his involvement in two runouts, including the dismissal of Mominul, who contributed 40. Following a shaky start at 26-2, Bangladesh made a recovery, overcoming New Zealand’s first-innings total of 317 by taking a seven-run lead. Ajaz Patel was the most successful New Zealand bowler on the day, dismissing opener Zakir Hasan for 17. The day also witnessed a remarkable contribution from Mominul with the ball, as he claimed the last two New Zealand wickets in the morning session. The tourists, replying to Bangladesh’s first-innings total of 310, resumed at 266-8 and were frustrated by Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson, who shared a 52-run partnership for the ninth wicket. However, Mominul’s exceptional bowling removed both batsmen in the same over, with Jamieson leg-before for 23 and Southee bowling for 35, securing career-best figures of 3-4 for Mominul.