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Mohammad Isam in Chittagong
October 13, 2013
The first Test in Chittagong was only Bangladesh's second drawn match against New Zealand but the home captain Mushfiqur Rahim was not satisfied with the result.
"We are disappointed to settle for a draw," he said. "It was an opportunity, and if the wicket was any different, it would have been a different ball game for our spinners. We could have lost, but at the same time we could have used our full strength. Credit goes to them also, they played well."
Five out of New Zealand's eight wins against Bangladesh were by an innings and the only time the margin was tight was during the 2008 Chittagong Test, which New Zealand eventually won by three wickets. With a head-to-head like that, the expectation was on New Zealand to seize the initiative in the second innings, especially with a lead of 85 runs at the start of the final day.
"On that wicket it was hard to generate a good strike-rate, " McCullum, the New Zealand captain, said. "When we looked to go after the bowling, a couple of balls kept low, a couple turned. They made it difficult for us by picking up wickets. I certainly can't fault our batting tactics. We are happy with 256 off 46 overs. We played some good cricket in this game. Bangladesh did well too. None of the teams gave away an inch. It is a nice way to start a tour."
McCullum's calculations had not revolved around a total as much as protecting his fast bowlers on a pitch that had nothing for them. "The way we batted before lunch and just after lunch prior to the hat-trick, we set a target in mind. But it was about the number of overs we leave for our seamers to bowl. We didn't want to leave too many overs.
Mushfiqur hadn't expected New Zealand to attack any more than they did in the one-and-a-half sessions they batted. "I wasn't too surprised at their approach in the second innings. We pretty much knew that they wouldn't attack us early. They always had to take a safe option from where they couldn't lose. We knew that they wouldn't want to lose wickets. We knew they'd attack after lunch, so Gazi's spell was just amazing"
Mushfiqur was pleased with the performances of his spinners Gazi and Abdur Razzak, who had to shoulder a greater share of the 247.1 overs bowled by Bangladesh, because Shakib-Al-Hasan and Robiul Islam were returning from injury.
"We had to be careful managing the load of the bowlers," he said. "Sohag and Razzak are good bowlers, and we had to make sure Shakib slowly comes back to full load. Robiul has also been injured for the last three months, so he too bowled less than Rubel, who took up the responsibility."
McCullum was content with his side's batting after Kane Williamson and BJ Watling's centuries set up a huge first-innings total and he saw encouraging signs from his spinners as well, who claimed five wickets between them. "Our batting was a positive. We got 469 batting first with couple of guys getting big scores. The second innings was positive too. We were behind the game but the guys still applied their processes and plans so that we could set a declaration. We need to improve our fielding. The pacers did well in trying conditions. The spinners did better as the game went on."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Mohammad Isam
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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