Mount Maunganui, Jan 3 (IANS) Bangladesh team director Khaled Mahmud was appreciative of his team’s batting performance in the first Test against New Zealand, saying the process by the batters was excellent. Bangladesh surprised one and all with the solid and gritty batting performance, ending day three at 401/6 and leading by 73 runs.
“Very good day for our Test cricket history. It’s been challenging, but our process was excellent, the boys did a very good job. The execution was proper in the way we batted, we scored maybe 226 runs today while losing four wickets. The players have spent time between the wickets, and they have done a very good job,” said Mahmud in the virtual press conference after the day’s play.
After Najmul Hossain Shanto’s 64 and Mahmudul Hasan Jo’s 78, captain Mominul Haque made 88 while wicket-keeper Liton Das scored 86. At stumps, Yasir Ali has batted 35 balls for an unbeaten 11 while Mehidy Hasan hanged around for 38 balls, standing unconquered at 20. Mahmud felt a lead of 150 will be great for Bangladesh.
“Tomorrow morning is very important. We have four wickets to go, and this partnership is very important. I think Mehidy Hasan and Yasir Ali need to bat for a period of time tomorrow. We have a 73-run lead now, if we can add about 70 runs and bring it closer to 150, we’ll be in a good position. We want to survive and do well. Even if we cannot win, we want to draw in the Test match. Still, there are 180 overs left and it will be difficult to score runs if we can bowl well.”
Mahmud expressed happiness over the 158-run stand for the fifth wicket between Haque and Das, who played 244 and 177 balls respectively. “It was a fantastic partnership between Mominul and Litton. They batted very well against a New Zealand attack that always comes at you with discipline. Mominul played an excellent innings. He spent a lot of time in the middle, he left a lot of balls, like Joy had done earlier. Mominul is a more experienced Test cricketer than Liton but both batted superbly.”
Mahmud, a former Test and ODI captain of Bangladesh signed off by saying that all the four half-centurions had worked really hard to keep the side in pole position in the match. “I always speak with them (players) separately and try to inspire them. I just told them that we have lost a match despite declaring at 595 (in Wellington) but we cannot always lose. One group must stand up, and why not this group?”
“We need to follow the right process and more importantly play with courage and freedom. There is no ghost here. We had the confidence that we can do it but also had the fear considering this is a young team. Shadman, Joy, Shanto, Yasir, and Liton all of them are not very experienced but have the potential to do well here. They worked hard and it helped them.”