Bangladesh batsmen's fightback gives captain Mahmudullah confidence ahead of second Test

Sudhir Gupta 23:57 03/03/2019
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Mahmudullah (l) and Soumya Sarkar scored fine centuries in Hamilton.

Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah is banking on the gains made by his batsmen during defeat in the first Test in Hamilton and put in a better effort against New Zealand in the second Test.

The Kiwis won the first Test by an innings and 52 runs as they overcame a brave fight from the tourists on day four in Hamilton.

After racking up their highest ever Test score of 715-6 declared in the first innings, victory looked a formality for the Black Caps, with Bangladesh entering the day 307 runs behind with six wickets remaining.

But Mahmudullah and Soumya Sarkar had other ideas, both scoring centuries in a partnership of 235 that raised the prospect of the hosts having to bat again before Trent Boult removed Sarkar for 149.

Bangladesh’s last five wickets then fell for 68 runs, with skipper Mahmudullah making 146 in a second innings total of 429 as Boult took 5-123.

That counter-attacking stand with Sarkar has given Mahmudullah hopes for the second match which begins in Wellington on Friday.

“We can carry forward some positives for the batsmen. Tamim (century and fifty) batted very well, Soumya was outstanding,” Mahmudullah was quoted as saying by Dhaka Tribune.

“We were focusing on not giving away wickets easily. They were bowling consistently well. They try to swing the new ball to induce the edges and when the cherry gets older they tend to bowl bouncers to intimidate the batsmen.”

Sarkar scored his maiden Test ton and it was a special moment for a batsman often accused of throwing his wicket away.

“I think the batting of Soumya at that stage was very important as he was batting fluently and taking some odd chances. When bowlers bowl well, bowl bouncers and yet you score boundaries and score four-five per over, the bowlers tend to become frustrated. Soumya was doing these things very well and our partnership was going along strongly,” the skipper added.

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