Athletic

Unfazed by names, I played deliveries, Mahmudul says after his maiden fifty vs NZ

Bangladesh’s 21-year-old top-order batter Mahmudul Hasan Joy, after his maiden Test fifty against New Zealand, said that he focused on the deliveries instead of worrying about the bowlers.

At the end of day three, Bangladesh are leading by 73 runs with four wickets in hand. In reply to New Zealand’s first innings total of 328, Bangladesh scored 401 for six at stumps.

It was only the second Test of Mahmudul (first in New Zealand) where he smashed 78 off 228 balls. Along the way he became the first Bangladeshi opener to face 200 or more deliveries in New Zealand.

Before this match, Mahmudul got his Test cap against Pakistan when he got a torrid initiation to Tests– a duck and six in his first two innings.

“They have the best pace-bowling unit in the world,” he said about the pace-bowling attack of the reigning Test champions. “I just wanted to play my regular game. I did not think much over that. My focus was to play the delivers not the names of their bowlers.”

Along with Mahmudul, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mominul Haque and Liton Das have also hit a fifty. Mominul and Liton had passed the 80-run mark too but fell short of a few runs from their first Test century in New Zealand.

“My plan was to face as many balls as possible, and the runs will come along the way. All of my partners in the middle have said this. It was the reason behind my calmness on the wicket. I must admit that the preparation ahead of the series has helped me a lot,” he added.

Mahmudul and Shadman Islam put up a 43-run opening stand— highest in recent times. In the absence of the veteran batter Tamim Iqbal, Bangladesh’s top-order has been struggling for a long time.

“Shadman and I wanted to make the ball old,” Mahmudul said while talking about playing the new ball. “If I would have thought more, there was a big chance of losing the wicket. So we kept thinking ball by ball, and it eventually resulted in a good way.”

Source: United News of Bangladesh