Prior to this tour, Bangladesh's greatest achievement in tests against New Zealand was avoiding an innings defeat. Things could only have gotten better.
1st test choke
When Bangladesh had the Black Caps at 52/4 in their first innings in the first test, they had a solid hold on a possible victory. Their grip loosened as the BCs recovered, but defending a target of 317, the game was Bangladesh's to win.
They couldn't do it of course. No doubt, the first test was a good one for Bangladesh, despite the fact that it was lost. And they can justly feel that grim satisfaction of knowing that they lead for most of the match. However, this wasn't the "one that got away". Bangladesh have failed to capitalise on a dominant position a number of times. Most famously perhaps, they squandered a 150-odd first innings lead against Australia in 2006, and they also let Pakistan squeak home by 1 wicket in 2003. They've butchered a few other first innings leads by poor second innings efforts.
One day they will turn a first innings lead into a win against a major team. And that will be great for the game in Bangladesh. However, I reckon the path ahead for Bangladesh doesn't lie in these fortuitous tests.
The draw in the second test was of course a better final result for Bangladesh than the first test loss. They were however under the cosh for almost the whole of the game. At 44/6, chasing a follow on target of 162, you should have been expecting another loss. The 7th wicket fight back turned the match and saved the test. It was therefore the defining moment of the whole test series for Bangladesh.
It is performances like this that will move Bangladesh cricket forward. Sad as it may sound (and as insufferably arrogant it may be coming from an NZ fan), Bangladesh have to more regularly force the opposition to bat twice before they can think about winning matches.