An 'average' effort | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 30, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:38 AM, October 30, 2016

An 'average' effort

It might have been on a turning track and against an attack that is not comfortable playing spin, but regardless of those factors what Bangladesh's teenage off-spinner Mehedi Hasan did yesterday was quite brilliant.

Quite often for newcomers, the second match tends to be harder than their debut game. After all, you are fresher in the first match and your opponent does not have much information about you.

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With his second consecutive six-wicket haul yesterday, Mehedi has shown that he is someone who is here for the long haul. He constantly managed to nag the English along that corridor of uncertainty and also troubled them with his variations.

The way he once again managed to hold his nerve, at a time when Bangladesh were reeling from their batting collapse, was quite impressive. Therefore, it was not a surprise to know that Mehedi, after recording figures of 6 for 81, became only the second off-spinner in Test history to take five-wicket hauls in each of his first two matches.

It was an aspect that he was extremely pleased about.

“Obviously it feels good to take two five-wicket hauls in the first two games. But I never think about taking five or six wickets at the start of the game.

“I try to put in an average performance and by the grace of God, so far it has been working,” said the off-spinner after the second day's play today.

While Mehedi might have used the word 'average', what he was probably trying to say was that he always hopes to give his best and perform as he would generally perform without worrying too much about the numbers.

Mehedi's six-wicket haul is the reason why Bangladesh have a chance at beating a highly-rated Test team for the first time ever. However, the 19-year-old though was not thinking about all that. Instead, he thanked his senior partners and said that he could not have performed this well without their advice.

The challenge in the second Test, according to Mehedi, was different from the first. The visitors knew his strong points and he needed to work harder to get the wickets.

“Actually the challenge was a little different, but the seniors in the team helped me a lot. They supported me and explained that I would have to work hard in order to get a wicket. It requires a lot of pain,” said Mehedi.

Despite 23 wickets tumbling in the first two days, Mehedi still believes that there is something in the pitch for batsmen.

“The wicket is not extremely bad. If you notice, our batsmen are doing well. If you have a bit of focus, you can do well. We will try to put up as big a score as possible. And secondly, no matter what the total is, we will fight to defend it,” a confident Mehedi said, adding that it was unfortunate for Bangladesh to lose Mahmudullah Riyad at the end of the day's play yesterday.

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