New Zealand’s fragile batting unit plumbed new depths at the Divisional Stadium in Chittagong on Saturday, their inadequacies multiplying as a resurgent Bangladesh eyed a rare test cricket victory.

New Zealand, who have already suffered a historic one-day loss to the sub-continent’s so-called minnows on this tour, now face the galling prospect of slumping to an embarrassing test defeat after their top order was mesmerised by unheralded spinner Shakib Al Hasan.

Calamity struck either side the tea adjournment on day two as New Zealand plummeted from 29 for one to a galling 100 for seven when allrounder Jacob Oram trudged off after recording a four-ball duck.

Oram’s demise left captain Daniel Vettori to try and edge New Zealand towards Bangladesh’s distant 245 with the tail — a total that appeared sub-par until Al Hasan spun a web around a succession of ponderous strokemakers.

New Zealand were vulnerable on 155 for nine at stumps — a deficit of 90.

Vettori fought a lone hand with his unbeaten 48 while Iain O’Brien will join him tomorrow after Jeetan Patel was caught off the third to last ball of the day — his pull shot resulting in a 31-ball duck.

Fittingly it was Al Hasan who took the screamer at mid-wicket off the bowling of captain Mohammad Ashraful to cap one of Bangladesh’s most memorable days in their test history.

New Zealand, meanwhile, are on the brink of recording at least one unwanted milestone — in their six previous tests against Bangladesh their lowest completed innings was 357 made at Dunedin last summer.

A defiant Vettori’s mood change would have been significant after he ran through the Bangladeshi tail before lunch to claim five for 57 — his 16th five-wicket haul in test cricket.

However, his deeds were eventually eclipsed by Al Hasan who leading into his seventh test had three wickets at an unflattering average of 104.66 apiece.

The slow left armer preyed on New Zealand’s technical deficiencies to record a career best six for 32 — though the wicket of Kyle Mills for a 44-ball four when he was adjudged caught behind appeared a shade fortunate.

There were no qualms about his other successes.

Jamie How, whose leading edge was snapped up at silly mid off after he was squared up outside leg stump, started the slide when the score was a pedestrian 27 in the 15th over.

Then Jesse Ryder’s long anticipated test debut lasted five balls before he was nabbed in close off bat and pad by Rajin Saleh for a single.

Ross Taylor, leg before wicket to Abdur Razzak for 12 and Aaron Redmond, who made an unconvincing 19 off 65 balls, were also removed before tea to leave New Zealand reeling at 57 for four heading into the final session.

McCullum and Daniel Flynn carefully carried the score to 99 before allrounder Naeem Islam marked his test debut by becoming the first Bangladeshi bowler to take a wicket with his first over.

Flynn, who took 19 balls to get off the mark, was the fall guy, on 19, when he edged an attempted late cut to wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim.

The onus was then on McCullum and Oram to guide New Zealand out of trouble, however they were both back in the pavilion seven balls later.

McCullum’s ugly one-handed swipe to mid-on saw him depart for 25 off 37 balls and four deliveries later Al Hasan was celebrating his fifth wicket when Oram was brilliantly caught by Mashrafe Mortaza at short mid wicket.

That left Vettori to pick up the pieces of another inadequate batting performance in what was envisaged as a two-test practice session before crossing the Tasman to face Australia next month.

Instead Bangladesh are plotting to achieve just their second test victory in 55 tests — a coveted victory to accompany their success over Zimbabwe in 2004-05.

Bangladesh resumed on 183 for four and although Mehrab Hossain added just four to his overnight 79 before he was deceived by an O’Brien slower ball, fellow overnight batsman Rahim advanced added 20 to his 59 to ensure Bangladesh threatened 250.

O’Brien’s sterling service was rewarded with a haul of three for 36 from 23 accurate overs, though he still has a job to do with the bat.