Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 1st Test, 5th day, Galle March 12, 2013

Mushfiqur thrilled with Bangladesh effort


Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim has called the team's first-ever drawn Test match against Sri Lanka "a huge achievement". He said the draw in Galle was the team's first major step towards becoming consistent in Tests.

"We had never even taken the lead against Sri Lanka in the past," Mushfiqur said. "From this performance, we want to continue being consistent in the second Test. That's how it should be in Test cricket."

Bangladesh posted 638 - their highest Test score - and batted 196 overs, the longest they have managed since getting Test status in 2000. Sri Lanka has been their most frequent Test opponents but they have beaten Bangladesh in all 12 games in the past, often by large margins. Mushfiqur said that their track record against the hosts spurred his side during this Test.

"Our past record against Sri Lanka definitely motivated us. For instance, they have scored 19 or 20 centuries [18 centuries] against us. We stressed on the fact that this is a big opportunity for us. We thought this is a chance for us to make them work hard on the field as we batted on and on.

"The team that often keeps you in the field for days that beat you regularly, we wanted to give it back to them. I think they are shocked, because they couldn't imagine we would play well."

The captain pointed out the different players who had made contributions, mostly with the bat, an end result that is relatively new to him in Tests. "We need a pen and paper to write down the positives in this Test. We had the team's highest score, Ashraful and my highest scores, Mominul's debut fifty, Nasir's maiden 100. I think this was also the highest score in Galle."

Mushfiqur gave a reminder of the circumstances that surrounded his team ahead of the tour and the Test match. Bangladesh has been riddled with injuries to major players and off-field issues that have been brewing since the inception of the BPL last year. In addition, there was a senior player making a comeback in the Test team.

"It was a big game with a lot of pressure on us. We were without two of our senior players. Ashraful bhai came into the side quite late and there was pressure on him to perform.

"I think if we can approach matches and for our batsmen to select which balls to hit and not to hit, we can be a lot more consistent in the future," he said.

He played down the immediate influence of financial benefit which the BCB has recently included in the players' contract for drawn Tests. But Mushfiqur said it was a good move which was in line with the cricketers' belief. The team will now get an extra Tk 100,000 ($1250) for drawing the Galle Test apart from their match fees which has also been recently increased.

"It was always a challenge for us to be competitive over five days. I think the board also thought along these lines that we should get extra remunerations if we can draw a game. I think it is very good, and we have done well."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rakibul on March 15, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    @Reggaecricket: I dont think you understood what Musfiq was trying to say...he didnt say anything to downplay SL...he simply said, BD team spent a lot of time in fielding in the past tests against SL, but this is the first time SL had to spent time in the field like BD. So, there's your 'Give it back to them' comes into play..

  • Duttagupta on March 14, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    Well done BD. certainly, your teams batting has improved a lot.

  • Ron on March 14, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    Give it to them? Learn some humility young man! Great Captains have been humble in victory and in defeat. in this case all you did was get a first innings lead on a dead flat track. Kenya has been Sri lanka and the West Indies, but does that mean they went on to continue dong so? Consistency on different tracks will win you respect. For now, Bangladesh is still several notches below test standard and an lose to any associate member. Keep the talk down and work on repeating the same feats in Colombo!

  • Raja on March 13, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    Being so young, Mushfiqur is doing a good job.

  • Ashqar on March 13, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    Get ready for colombo BD boys....i am not taking away the credits but Galle pitch is a batting paradise...colombo pitch may b not....bowling will play crucial part on nxt game....and for fast bowlers...need an immediate solution...!! Hope Tamim will back and bad luck for talented Anamul Haque...and razzak will show his class in test match...

  • Shafin on March 13, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    we need 7/8 tests per year to be a world class team.........will ICC consider more thing, ICC should make a rule that every test nation is liable to invite other test that BD will be invited in India,Aus,Eng,SA in regular basis...........n get a few tests more........n i m sure they will do better then.

  • Reaz on March 13, 2013, 4:05 GMT

    Bangladesh bowling wasn't great, which is not good for Bangladesh Cricket Team. Besides, Batting was far more excellent. We can hope it will be consistently good in next test & further more. Whatever, the result was good as have lost every match before this match. May be this is the beginning of a new chapter. Thanks to Allah & hope will keep it on with Bangladesh Cricket Team. Really love cricket, really like Bangladesh Cricket Team.

  • Dummy4 on March 13, 2013, 3:45 GMT

    BD did without Shakib...i am sure Shakib inclusion would have made big difference in this game specially in bowling dept

  • Andrew on March 13, 2013, 1:24 GMT

    @Warm_Coffee on (March 12, 2013, 19:16 GMT) - agree 100%. People can write them off, but only a fool can't see that Bangladesh are improving & with good coaching & support, they will be VERY strong in Asia.

  • Dummy4 on March 12, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    All this talk for just a first innings lead. It is good to be humble especially when you are a bad team. Next test watch

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