Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 1st Test, Galle, 4th day March 11, 2013

More work to be done before draw - Mushfiqur


Mushfiqur Rahim was wary of the work still ahead for Bangladesh to achieve an encouraging draw in the first Test in Galle, after the visitors amassed their highest-ever total of 638 in the first innings. Mushfiqur and Mohammad Ashraful provided the backbone of the mammoth innings with a 267-run fifth wicket partnership, in which both men eclipsed the previous highest score by a Bangladesh batsman.

Mushfiqur also made history by becoming the first Bangladesh batsman to make a double-century in internationals, while Ashraful perished early in the day for 190, having been unbeaten on 189 overnight. Nasir Hossain was the third batsman to score a century, while Mominul Haque had made 55 earlier in the innings.
Sri Lanka went to stumps 48 runs ahead and with nine wickets in hand in the second innings, but despite a draw being the likeliest outcome, Mushfiqur insisted Bangladesh had plenty to do to achieve it. In their last series in November, Bangladesh had been in a similar position late in the Test, but collapsed for 167 all out against West Indies on the final day, in pursuit of 245 for victory.

"Still a long way to go before we can say it was a good draw," Mushfiqur said. "Tomorrow it's day five and anything can happen. If we can manage to draw that, probably it will be a huge boost for us. It's our main target to play consistent cricket over the five days in a Test, and we can take a lot of positives. We didn't do well with the ball in the first innings, but on the second day we came back with the ball - although we didn't get many wickets."

Mushfiqur said he was ecstatic with his double-hundred, but reiterated praise for Ashraful, for also shouldering the responsibility of replying to Sri Lanka's 570 for 4. The pair had come together with their side in danger of failing to pass the follow-on target, at 177 for 4.

"I thought that if I got the chance to bat long and if I got a partner at the other end, I would like to score a big hundred. Fortunately Ash really batted well, and also Nasir, so I had partners. I really played well. We really needed it badly, because they scored huge and we needed to avoid the follow-on. That was our first target. Our second target was to make sure we cross their total, so we did that.

"When you have a good partner at the other end who can rotate the strike and score the odd four, it's really helpful. Ash was telling me, "If you play well and if you don't play a silly shot, you will get a lot of runs on this track. If we play session by session, and bat well, don't look at the scoreboard." That's what we did."

Ashraful was playing his first Test since December 2011, and only found a place in the XI after injury had ruled out both Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal. Sri Lanka is his favourite opponent, having made five of his six hundreds against them, including three in Sri Lanka.

"When Shakib is not here and Tamim is not playing, Ash came into the team and we had a lot of pressure and expectations on him, because he has always played well against Sri Lanka. He's probably a bit unfortunate that he didn't score a double hundred. Hopefully next time he can make it. We're really happy to see him make big runs."

The Galle pitch showed few signs of wear, even at the end of the fourth day. Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara put on 99 runs for the second wicket and were unbeaten at stumps.

"On the fourth day, in the last session it spun a bit, but still it's a good wicket to bat on. Hopefully if we bowl really well tomorrow in the first session and take a couple of wickets, probably we can put pressure on them."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Deepak on March 12, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    I feel like laughing on the floor when I see BD cpatians comments. Not only MR, prior to him lso, they always psays, play natural game, Milliion dollar question - WHAT IS NATURAL GAME AS PER BD. LOSING EFFECTIVELY without fight, without performing, club teams play much better cricekt than this national side. All I can say, Another rubbish test match involving BD.

  • Mradul on March 12, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    I am confused, why is it that after playing in 76 test matches still a team is happy to get away with a draw? After playing for more than 75 tests all other test teams (including Zim) were doing much better in terms of Win-Loss ratio. BD needs to get away with this mentality and should not be happy just by getting a Draw. They have played well, they took first inning lead, they have made SL work hard for their wickets and then they talk how happy they will be to get away with a Draw!! By pushing harder BD could have defeated SL. When will they learn to Win from these situations?

  • KH. RAFIQUE on March 12, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    We must have to be patience.Still one full day of 90 overs are left.anything can happen.So, we must bowl tight to restrict SL run rate and no way we can be complaisant.Come on Tigers you have almost done it; now, its a little bit more to make the whole nation happy.Roar Tigers Roar>>>>>

  • S on March 12, 2013, 4:28 GMT

    short guy but oh boy.....He is terrific and gr8 to watch and good signs for Bangladesh.....I love it

  • Dummy4 on March 11, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    great love to see bangladesh improving with shakib intheir side theyll be a good side for the future

  • Sumon on March 11, 2013, 18:33 GMT

    Ya, Mushfiq is totally world class since he became captain. Everyone talks about Ashraful's style. I find Mushfiq's batting more appealing. Always in control and aggressive. And he always says the right things. Someone like him should be captain for a long time.

  • Dummy4 on March 11, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    my point is also same , there has been lots to do on 5th day if sl play first 2 session than keep run rate down , they will try tomorrow to quick score , so its will better to take few wickets in morning session . good luck BANGLADESH.

  • Jonny on March 11, 2013, 16:46 GMT

    We need to play more Cricket. 2012 Bangladesh only played 2 test matches and 9 ODIs which is ridiculous. Even if it means playing an ODI series with associate teams like Ireland so be. But I hope BD don't screw this up and get the deserved draw away.

  • $$ milind on March 11, 2013, 15:23 GMT

    He's a honest captain. Isn't he? I am very pleased that nowadays we see different brands of captain who are not necessarily the best player in the team but they perform on field as much as any other. Rahim is one among them alongside Sammy. He's made Bangladesh proud and he has the ability to revolutionarise Bangladeshi cricket. He's only 25 and with many years to come as a international cricketer, I hope it reaches some gr8 heights.

  • Shipu on March 11, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    I like the attitude of the captain, still work needs to be done tomorrow to achieve a respectable draw. The West Indies test match is a different one to this, as Bangladesh were facing raw pace bowling something Sri Lanka lacks but if it does somehow offer turn tomorrow then Bangladesh have to be on their guard and concentrate session by session and walk away from this test match with all smiles :)

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