We took the “easier option” in first innings: Mahmudullah
Mahmudullah scored a valient 146. (AFP Image)

Mahmudullah has rued Bangladesh’s batting failure in the first innings following his team’s loss by an innings and 52 runs in the first Test against New Zealand in Hamilton. While Bangladesh put up a strong fight in the second innings, posting 429 runs on the board with centuries to Soumya Sarkar and the skipper himself, they never recovered from being bowled out for 234 runs as New Zealand raced ahead with a 481-run first-innings lead. (READ: Boult swings New Zealand to innings win over Bangladesh)

“You have to play tough cricket in Tests,” Mahmudullah said. “There will be good spells from both ends, so one has to understand these things. I think we took the easier options in the first innings and got out. I did it. [Mohammad] Mithun did it. Some other batsmen also got out in the same fashion. I wanted to work harder in the second innings, even if I got hit on the body, I want to give myself a chance. (READ: 1st Test, Scorecard)

“I got out trying to pull the ball casually in the first innings. I thought that if I take a bit of time (the second time), they may get tired and then I take my chances. I tried to be patient when they were mixing the bouncers with yorkers last evening.”

Bangladesh were also not helped by the fact that New Zealand posted their highest-ever Test total, with skipper Kane Williamson scoring a double hundred, and Jeet Raval and Tom Latham peeling off centuries of their own. Despite his bowlers giving their best, Mahmudullah admitted that their opponents were always a stead ahead.

“The bowlers tried hard. They tried bowling bouncers and also fuller lengths to swing the ball. They were positive and aggressive, which I wanted as a captain,” Mahmudullah said.
“If they show the same attitude and bowl more consistently in Wellington, they are likely to get better results. But I think New Zealand batted really well. Kane Williamson, [Jeet] Raval and [Tom] Latham played really well.”

Mahmudullah and Sarkar weren’t the only batsmen to give New Zealand a fight. Tamim Iqbal provided a string start putting on 88 runs with opening partner Shadman Islam. Tamim struck 12 boundaries and a six scoring 74 off just 86 balls and was particularly positive against the bouncers directed at him by Neil Wagner.

“When [Neil] Wagner was bowling bouncers at Tamim from around the wicket, he survived that period. I liked that from him, because he is our best player of pull and hook shots. It is something that I myself and others should also follow,” Mahmudullah said.

“Wagner kept on trying to bowl bouncers from a back of a length. [Tim] Southee and [Trent] Boult were trying to swing the new ball. I think it is their primary method, which I hope our batsmen have understood and keep in mind for the second Test.”