‘Drawing a Test match away from home is a good sign’ | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 26, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 26, 2021

‘Drawing a Test match away from home is a good sign’

Despite the first Test between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka ending in a draw, the game offered huge relief to Mominul Haque and Co. as they showed signs of shedding their longest lean patch in the longest format of the game in recent memory.

Bangladesh were desperate to overcome recent Test debacles which included a 2-0 defeat at the hands of a relatively inexperienced West Indies at home.

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Questions over their approach and strategy from the team management also remained the center of discussion ahead of the first Test.

The visitors eventually took those to the challenge after coming in to bat on a green Pallekele pitch that initially looked favorable for the seamers.

Young Najmul Hossain and skipper Mominul Haque both scored by centuries in the first innings while experienced opener Tamim Iqbal scored a brilliant ninety in the first innings as the Tigers posted a big total.

Mominul credited Tamim's knock in the first inning, saying the left-hander set the tone for the team. He also praised Najmul for his maiden ton and said that the draw would certainly boost confidence.

"We were unable to get results in both the home and away series previously. After losing a home series, managing to draw a Test match away from home is a good sign. It will surely boost our confidence for the second Test because everyone played as a unit. Whenever Bangladesh plays as a unit, we are in a good position," said Mominul.

The 29-yea-old registered his eleventh Test ton, the most by a Bangladeshi batsman, with what was his maiden hundred away from home. He opined that there were still many areas his side has to work on, especially in the batting department.

"We were confident of going with five bowlers because you always need five bowlers when you play in Sri Lanka, keeping injury concerns in mind. If you want to move forward in Test cricket, you need to go with five bowlers and six batsman in the line-up at times. When you play with six batters, I think everyone plays more responsibly. And if you want to pick 20 wickets you need five bowlers," he said. 

On the other hand, Sri Lanka replied strongly, riding on skipper Dimuth Karunaratne's maiden double ton alongside Dhananjaya De Silva's century. The duo added a record 345 runs -- the highest fourth-wicket stand for Sri Lanka as the hosts took a first-innings lead.

Karunaratne, who literally spent the entire duration of the Test match on the field as he fielded before scoring 244 off 437 balls, conceded that he was tired but added that he would bat till the end of the fifth day if the situation permitted.

"On this pitch, a fifty wasn't enough for me. I saw that almost everyone in the Bangladesh team got a fifty. I'm not the kind of player who's satisfied with just getting a fifty on this kind of pitch. I wanted to turn my 50 into a hundred and my hundred into a one-fifty. And you very rarely get pitches like this in Sri Lanka. You generally get tracks that turn a lot. And when you go overseas, you get a lot of seaming conditions. I wanted to get the maximum out of this pitch," Karunaratne said.

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