Ross Taylor's farewell Test match ended with an unlikely match-clinching wicket for New Zealand against Bangladesh in Christchurch on Tuesday.
With Bangladesh nine down, and the Hagley Oval crowd roaring for him to have a bowl, Taylor had Ebadot Hossain caught by captain Tom Latham to ensure won the second Test in and drew the series 1-1.
Bangladesh, forced to follow on 385 runs behind, were dismissed in their second innings for 278 after Liton Das had cracked a gallant century, as the Black Caps won by an innings and 117 runs.
But the day belonged to 37-year-old Taylor, New Zealand's elder statesman playing his 112th and final Test, who had a rare bowl with his part-time offspin at the end and needed just three balls to take the last wicket of Hossain for four.
Taylor still has one-day series against Australia and the Netherlands before he ends a 16-year international career in which he has amassed a host of records.
He signed off as his country's most prolific Test batsman with 7,683 runs, which include 19 hundreds, from 112 matches with an average of 44.66.
“I was getting pressure from the crowd and also the boys, to bowl [Taylor]," said Latham, whose 252 earned him the man-of-the-match award. “The umpires played their part as well. It was actually very dark out there.
“They said we can't bowl seamers and that led to my decision to bowl Ross and that's the way it worked out. It couldn't be scripted any better.”
It was only the eighth innings in his impressive career that Taylor has bowled and only the second match in which he has taken a wicket, after collecting two against India 12 years ago.
“It was a great way to finish,” he said. “I wanted to finish with a win and the guys definitely gave that to me.
“The way we came out and bowled and put them under pressure after putting up a very good total put us in good stead. It was an emotional game for me, my family and friends and it was good to get the win.
“Tim [Southee] kept telling me to chuck it up so I chucked it up. Tom said it was the most pressure he felt in the whole game.”
The Bangladesh top order put up gritty resistance in reaching 123-3, while Das — whose fluent 102 off 114 balls — shared a century partnership for the sixth wicket with Nurul Hasan.
But there was no fight in the tail as New Zealand, the reigning world Test champions, completed a much-needed win after being comprehensively beaten by eight wickets in the first match. Pace bowler Kyle Jamieson took 4-82 as Bangladesh fell weakly from 229-5 to 278 all out.
The result appeared a reversal for Bangladesh — who made history when they won the first Test for their first win in any format in New Zealand in what was one of cricket’s great upsets.
“I’m really happy with the first Test but the first innings of the second Test was disappointing,” Bangladesh captain Monimul Haque said. “I think it was very challenging for us after winning the first Test to keep our momentum for the second.”