On the fourth day in Christchurch, both teams came with a plan in mind. One worked to a tee, and partly because of that, the other simply disintegrated.
Bangladesh would have wanted to take the three remaining New Zealand wickets quickly and then bat long. But neither of those happened. They needed 21.4 overs in the morning, during which they conceded 94 runs, to bowl the opposition out and then went on to relive all their batting failures on this tour. A veritable anthology of dismissals.
Wicket after wicket, it looked like the unravelling of a batting line-up that has been figured out. A waft at a wide delivery, an inside edge cannoning into the stumps, a panic-stricken run down the pitch. New Zealand's bowlers were good, going after the Bangladesh batsmen with specific methods of attack, but even they wouldn't have pictured such an early end to the Test.
"I think this was the best day of Test cricket from our team throughout this series," Kane Williamson said. "You need bowlers to bowl in partnerships and do a job. Today, when maybe the pitch wasn't offering as much as the first innings, we were outstanding. It is certainly a tone we want to set going throughout the summer."
Tim Southee started it all, with a combination of full and short deliveries at Tamim Iqbal in the sixth over. A mere four balls into this strategy - a simple one, testing the batsman for patience - New Zealand had their first success. Tamim top-edged a pull and was caught at deep square leg. He later categorised the shot as "rubbish" and admitted to not making the most of his abilities.
"I never struggled in any innings during the series, but I couldn't capitalise on my form," Tamim said. "There's a high expectation on me by the team and even by myself. But I never struggled, neither did I make full use of my form, which I feel leaves me at fault."
His opening partner Soumya Sarkar ended his first Test in 18 months with an enterprising 36 that contained six boundaries. From time to time, the New Zealand seamers dragged him out to drive the ball away from his body and eventually he nicked Colin de Grandhomme to gully.
Shakib Al Hasan arrived at the crease with the score on 58 for 2. Bangladesh would have expected their best player to guide them out of trouble. However, for the second time in successive matches and third in the last four Tests, his high-risk game did not befit the situation. Shakib began with a cheeky dab between second slip and gully and then repeated the stroke only to be dropped at second slip by Jeet Raval. He continued flirting outside his off stump and drove the seventh ball he faced straight to point.
"I think Shakib has had a good Test series," Tamim said in defence of his team-mate. "This is how he bats. If you remember, 20-25 of his boundaries came through point during his 217 in Wellington. But today's dismissal, the situation was different. I think he could've handled it much better."
Bangladesh had been without three of their regular top-order batsmen - Mushfiqur Rahim, Mominul Haque and Imrul Kayes - so now the burden of seeing them to safety was upon Mahmudullah, who for the first time in the series, looked purposeful in survival.
But again, New Zealand had a plan for him, to find the inside edge. They drew him forward and pushed him back in the hope of catching Mahmudullah on the move, offering a gap between bat and pad, much like the manner in which he was dismissed in the first innings. Eventually, after 66 deliveries, the inside edge was taken and it crashed into the stumps ending a poor tour for one of Bangladesh's most improved batsmen.
And then it was just the rookies, who were peppered by short balls. Neil Wagner removed Sabbir Rahman and Nurul Hasan, who were both caught behind, before Trent Boult forced Mehedi Hasan to fend a catch to short leg.
Nazmul Hossain Shanto had earlier been treated to the full-short combination before Boult removed him with a yorker. A newcomer, he was expected to be vulnerable to this type of bowling in overseas conditions. Lasting 60 deliveries was somewhat of a credit to Nazmul but there is a concern that the skills he cultivated batting on fast, bouncy pitches might be overwritten by those he needs to survive in the subcontinent.
The Bangladesh series was the perfect opportunity for New Zealand to bounce back from their disappointing tours of India and Australia. And during these four weeks, they have shown several times that they can fight back from not one but several kinds of difficult positions. It all came to a head at Hagley Oval, where they began by trailing Bangladesh in the first innings but ended with a Test win and a day off.
"It is a positive for our side the way we bounced back after being under pressure, and take their wickets and put the pressure back on them," Williamson said. "It is nice to finish the series with a win."