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Mahmud eyes 150-run lead

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 4 January, 2022 12:00 AM
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Bangladesh team director Khaled Mahmud believes that if they can take a first innings lead of 150 runs then they can take the first Test to the wire against New Zealand at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.

“Tomorrow morning is very important.  We have four wickets. There is Miraj (Mehidy Hasan) and Yasir (Ali) and we have 73 runs lead. If we can get another 70 runs lead then it will be close to 150 runs lead and at that point, we will be in a good position,” Mahmud told reporters on Monday after the end of the third day’s play of the first Test.

“We want to survive and do well. Even if we can’t win, we want to draw the Test match…Still, there are 180 overs left and it’ll be difficult to score runs if we can bowl well,” he added.

Bangladesh’s batting unit came up with a clinical performance as they posted 401-6 replying to New Zealand’s first innings total of 328 runs at the end of the third day’s play.

Skipper Mominul Haque (88) and Liton Das (86) missed out their respective hundred by small margins but their sublime batting performance took the visitors to a strong position after they resumed on 175-2 on day three. 

Mahmud added that he was both confident and sceptical about their chances against New Zealand at their own backyard considering their previous records (nine losses out of nine games) that included five innings defeat.

“I always speak with them separately and try to inspire them. I just told them that we have lost a match despite declaring at 595 but we can’t always lose. One group must stand up and why not this group,” said Mahmud, who was included in the set-up to boost the morale of the team.

“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,” he said.

“Sadman, Joy (Mahmudul Hasan), Shanto (Najmul Hossain), 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,” he added.

Mahmud added that he was impressed with the batting of Mominul and Liton, who put up 158 runs for the fifth wicket stand to take them to a comfortable position.

“I think it’s one of the brightest days in Bangladesh cricket (Test) and the process was excellent as they stayed at the wicket and that was very important,” said Mahmud.

“I think it’s a brilliant partnership (between Mominul and Liton). They were under pressure but they overcame it. New Zealand bowlers are disciplined and against them, they batted really well.

“Mominul was excellent. The way he had left the ball, Joy (Mahmudul Hasan) too following the same path. Mominul has more experience in Test cricket than Liton but both of them played well,” he said.