Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque revealed that he kept insisting his bowlers to focus only on bowling tightly, and not go for the wickets on the fifth morning of the first Test against New Zealand. Although it may not sound like an aggressive plan with the Bangla Tigers needing wickets swiftly to set up a small chase, Mominul said that he believed it was the right strategy to implement. Mominul also mentioned how he spent a sleepless night thinking about what might happen on the fifth morning of the match.
Possibility of Historical Win kept Mominul up all Night
“I didn’t sleep at all last night,” he said. “When we took the fifth wicket yesterday [on the fourth day], I thought that they might get out for a small total, but it could have been very different too. My message to the bowlers at the start of the [fifth] day was to repeat what we did in the last four days. We can’t go for wickets. You might ask how can they take wickets then? The plan in this Test was that we will not concede runs trying to take wickets. We wanted to create pressure in that way. Whether we get wickets or not.”
The touring side picked up the last five New Zealand wickets in 9.2 overs while giving away just 15 runs. Mominul said that even before that Ebadot Hossain’s three-wicket burst on the fourth evening gave him the first genuine thought that they could be on to their first ever win across formats in New Zealand.
Mominul on Ebadot’s spell and team’s game plan
“When Ebadot suddenly took those three wickets, we felt that we were on to something special. It got a bit clearer after we bowled them out today,” he said. “I don’t think we were over-excited at any stage. You must have seen how calm and cool we were. We were feeling a bit of pressure when we went out to chase the 40 runs. But when Mushfiq bhai hit that [winning] boundary, it did [feel] like we had won.”
“We didn’t think about the result. I mean, people would call me pagol [mad] if they heard me talk about winning here,” he said of his side’s first Test win in the country. “We felt confident, we prepared well. We just stuck to the process. We wanted to bat for long. We wanted to bowl in one spot. These are parts of the process that I keep talking about.”