200-220 will be defendable, says Nayeem
The ongoing second and final Test between Bangladesh and New Zealand in Dhaka appears to be perfectly poised after another rain-hit day, but off-spinner Nayeem Hasan reckons the hosts are "ahead" in the game following third day's completion on Friday.
Bangladesh were 38 for two in their second innings, leading by 30 runs, before bad light forced the day's play to be called off at 4.15 pm at Mirpur's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
The low and slow Mirpur pitch will once again put the batters to test. Unless bad weather continues to intervene, a draw is out of the equation. Nayeem believes that if Bangladesh can score around forty runs more than their first innings total, 172, they will back themselves to win the match, leading to a series victory on the back of a 150-run win in Sylhet.
"We are ahead in the game and we need to maintain that as long as we can. If we can post 200-220 runs hopefully, we will be able to defend that," the 23-year-old said.
However, Bangladesh would be a touch disappointed that they were unable to grab the first innings lead, despite New Zealand being reeling on 55 for five at one point after the opening day.
While the second day and the session after were washed out due to rain, a superb counter-attack from Glenn Phillips helped the visitors to eventually build an eight-run lead before getting all out for 180.
The right-hander took an aggressive approach and quickfired an 87-run knock off 72 balls, hitting four sixes and nine fours. Phillips may have shown the batters how to bat on such a rank turner Mirpur pitch.
Although Nayeem, who dismissed the first two batters on the day, mentioned that it would have been preferable if the Tigers had taken the lead, he appears confident in his side's batting skills.
"Look, they came here to play as well, and there could be a partnership where someone does well. Phillips stepped up on this occasion, which allowed them to take the lead.
"It would have been nice if we could have taken the lead. But at the end of the day, we are ahead. And if we bat well, we can put up a good total," he remarked.