Bangladesh tumbled for 211 in the first innings of the second Test of three-match series at Basin Reserve in Wellington on Sunday. Majority of Bangladesh’s wickets fell to short-pitched deliveries as the New Zealand pace attack, in particular Neil Wagner, put them through the paces with a near constant barrage reminiscent of the infamous Bodyline series.
At the end of the day, Liton Das, the diminutive wicketkeeper-batsman of Bangladesh, had to state the obvious and admit Bangladesh’s tough time in the middle batting against the short deliveries.
“We knew that the short ball would be there. Actually, there was nothing to do. We had just one thing to do, to keep our eye on the ball, or leaving the balls,” Liton said to the gathered journalists at the press conference at the end of day three at Basin Reserve.
Bangladesh lost the toss in the match and sent to bat first. They started on a positive note as Tamim Iqbal and Shadman Islam stretched the opening stand to 75 which was Bangladesh’s third 50-plus opening stand in succession. Liton regrettably said they should have done better after that positive start to the innings. At the same time, he insisted that taking two wickets of the opponent at the end of the day before another interruption of rain showed good spirit for the Tigers.
“Two days were washed out due to rain. We got to bat first and the starting was good. It should have been better. However, at the end of the day, we were able to take two wickets, this was also a good side,” the wicketkeeper-batsman further said.
Despite the positive start that was put by Tamim and Shadman, Liton said they never batted in the toughest condition like the Basin Reserve was on Sunday. “We have never played in such types of weather. It was difficult for me, actually, not only for me, we all had the same type of trouble to bat in these sorts of conditions.”
However, the right-handed batsman also admitted the wicket was not a surface where batting is impossible. He brought the innings of Tamim in front to prove that if a batsman plays with proper concentration he can be successful.
Liton is hoping for a result in the third Test in spite of losing two full days to rain. “It was just the first innings. I cannot say whether this Test will produce a result. I think many things depend on tomorrow.”
Liton believes the first hour of the fourth day is most important in order to see a result in this Test as he said: “Tomorrow’s first hour is very important because we are still in a better position. If we take one or two wickets before the end of the first session and reduce the run as low as possible, we may have a chance to better them.”