After dominating New Zealand over the last three days, Bangladesh are now looking forward a positive result in the first Test despite knowing that two days are still enough for the hosts to hit back into the match.
Bangladesh haven’t won any game in any format of cricket yet on New Zealand soil and even they lost a Test match here in 2017 despite declaring at 595 and with sizable lead. Shakib hammered a 217 and Mushfiqur scored 159 in that match but still Bangladesh ended up losing that game, BSS reports.
But Bangladesh team director Khaled Mahmud Sujon believed that this group of cricketers is able to create a history on New Zealand soil this time around.
He said with two days still left and if they bat deep and take a 150-plus lead on the fourth morning, they still can sense a chance.
“They [the players] have worked hard, did everything to get to this stage. I still think it is too early to say anything in this game. We have two more days left. We want to do well – even if we can’t win, we definitely want to draw this Test,” Mahmud said during a virtual press conference from New Zealand on Monday.
“I usually speak to everyone individually. I particularly remember telling them that we lost nine Tests in New Zealand on the trot. In 2017, we lost despite declaring on 595 in Wellington. I told them that we can’t keep losing here. One group has to stand out, so why not this group? Why can’t we play better cricket?
He went to saying: “Results will come later, but we can play with courage. These are tough conditions for every visiting side, but I felt that we could do well here. I tried to pass this on to this young team. Definitely, there
was fear within us. We have five batters – Shadman, Joy, Shanto, Yasir and Litton – who are not very experienced in Tests. They all possess the ability to play well, but working in specific areas really paid dividends for us.”
Bangladesh are now leading the New Zealand by 73 runs after ending the third day on 401-6. The most important aspect of the Bangladeshi batters game was that they showed the required patience to worn out New Zealand bowlers. Young opener Mahmudul Hasan Joy played 228 balls for his 78, skipper Mominul Haque played 244 balls for his 88 and Liton Das took 247 balls for his 86 against a bowling attack that included – Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Kyle Jamieson-arguably the best bowling line up in the world at this moment.
“It was a fantastic partnership between Mominul and Liton. 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 Litton but both batted superbly. By Allah’s grace, we are now in a position to dominate the match.”
“I think New Zealand bowled superbly with the second new ball, but we stuck to our plan. They weren’t giving us many freebies. They were bowling such tight lines that, at the start of the day, Joy and Mominul couldn’t even get singles. But we spent time at the crease, rather than thinking about runs. Mushfiqur [Rahim] and Mominul, both experienced players, did a great job in that situation. The execution was perfect.”