Bangladesh keen to carry confidence into last Test

Mirpur: Bangladesh are looking to make the most of the confidence they gained from the drawn Chittagong Test to face South Africa in the last cricket match of the month-long tour here.

In Chittagong, the hosts restricted the Proteas to just 248 in the first innings and then scored 326 to take a 78-run lead before rain washed out the last two days. Bangladesh still had a 17-run lead when the match was called off last Saturday, reports

The hosts draw inspiration from that for the second Test that starts at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium here on Thursday.

“I have said before that if we could draw the Test, it would be a big achievement for us. We batted, bowled and fielded positively in Chittagong. It is unfortunate that it rained but we were positive,” Bangladesh opener Imrul Kayes said.

Although incessant rain saw Bangladesh get their first ever draw against the top-ranked Test team, they are quite happy with the way they stuck to their plans.

“If we retain that confidence and play according to the plan, we can make progress here like we did in Chittagong,” said Kayes.

Kayes and Tamim Iqbal paired in a gritty 46-run opening stand in the first Test and dealt with the pace of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander. But the aggression they showed in the Tests against Pakistan was completely missing.

“We are playing against the world’s top team. They bowl in the right areas and rarely bowl bad ones. Chittagong’s wicket is such that you can stay at the wicket but can’t play shots,” Kayes explained.

Before Stiaan van Zyl forced Kayes to lose balance and get stumped, the partnership had set the tone of their innings as other batsmen continued in solid fashion.

“As openers, we try to stay at the wicket as long as possible. If we stay there longer, it becomes easier for the following batsmen to play and score. That is the openers’ main plan,” said Kayes.

Bangladesh’s new wicketkeeper Liton Das has shown great potential in just two Test innings, against India and South Africa. Kayes believes the 20-year-old is full of promises. “Liton is a fine player. He has a bright future ahead of him. The way he bats, he’ll play at a much higher level.”

He had scored 44 against India before hitting his maiden Test half-century in Chittagong. Both the Tests, however, were marred by rain that did not allow Bangladesh to play their second innings.

“Our team has changed now. The atmosphere within the team has shifted. Whoever comes in now thinks that he has to do well.

Young revelations like Mustafizur Rahman and Soumya Sarkar have earned their spot pretty quickly with that mindset. “The newcomers who come are hungry to do well. That’s why they are doing well.”