Bangladesh will go into the fourth day of the second Test against New Zealand today keeping in mind that they cannot repeat the same mistake they committed in the first Test which they surrendered spectacularly after dominating for four days.
Bangladesh will take the field with an expressed intention of mopping up the Black Caps tail as quickly as possible. The home side on the other hand will resume on 260 for seven and will try to overtake Bangladesh's first-innings total of 289. If they can take a considerable lead, they will be in a better position to pounce on the Tigers.
However, after a no-show on the third day, which was washed out without a single ball being bowled due to rain, the onus will be on the Tigers to apply themselves on what would be a slightly disconcerting wicket on a damp Hagley Oval ground. It is understood that Bangladesh will have to bat for most part of the day. And if they can correct the mistakes they committed in their second innings of the first Test when they were bowled out for 160 after scoring a massive 595 in their first essay, they will be able to put the pressure back on the home team. In that event the first two sessions will be extremely crucial. The winners of the two sessions will decide which way the game will be heading on the fifth and final day.
Bangladesh as a bowling unit did a commanding job on the second day. But it is the batting that has not been consistent and more importantly some key players like opener Tamim Iqbal and middle-order batsman Mahmudullah Riyad have not been among the runs. The absence of injured captain Mushfiqur Rahim was felt keenly throughout the limited-overs series and will doubtless be felt here.
But the most heartening aspect in the second Test so far is that the Tigers have produced their best in extreme adversity and fought well without their three key batsmen -- opener Imrul Kayes, one-down Mominul Haque and Mushfiqur all missed the game due to injury. The inexperienced pace attack performed beyond expectation.
Bangladesh might have suffered six straight defeats in the limited-overs series, they lost the opening Test by seven wickets at Wellington in an inexplicable way. But they are still possibly two days away to turn a tour of missed opportunities into an unforgettable end. And if they can show that resolve in batting they will surely be in a position to leave down under with a big smile on their face.