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December 20, 2001
Bangladesh's frontline bowlers may not match Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie or Glenn McGrath in speed and experience, but New Zealand opener Mark Richardson found he was more nervous in the first Test today against Bangladesh, than he ever was in Australia.
He finished the day on his highest Test score of 124 not out, with New Zealand 306/5, but said the first hour, in which New Zealand plummeted to 51/4, was very hard.
"It doesn't matter that they were not the Australians, they all hit the seam, they had very good wrists and they all swung the ball.
"They bowled pretty well and their tails were up," he said.
Richardson was battling the 'flu all day and he felt the innings wasn't one of his better ones.
Last summer's maiden Test century in the final Test against Pakistan and today's century completed a turnaround of fortunes for Richardson here.
"I was desperate to get a total. I went about my work okay in Australia, I just didn't get a century," he said.
Meanwhile, Craig McMillan said he had been conscious of his dismissal for 98 in the Pakistan Test last year, when he got into the 90s.
"I was very determined to push through. From a personal point of view I just love playing here because it is one of only two pure cricket grounds in New Zealand, the other is the Basin Reserve."
It was a sign of the confidence in the batsmen in the team now that despite getting into a tricky position they were able to extricate themselves.
"There wasn't any panic," he said.
The frustrations with the weather and the limited chances for cricket had been a concern.
"But I'm really happy today. I played my natural game.
"We are in a very satisfying position and we are very happy with the day's play. It was a good day's cricket," he said.
The accident he had on Tuesday had also caused him to reflect and realise how lucky he was to be able to play cricket, and that had made the innings all the more satisfying, he said.
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