Anamul regrets throwing away disciplined start

Anamul Haque guides one behind square AFP

Anamul Haque regrets the timing of his dismissal in his debut Test innings, but is hopeful that Mohammad Ashraful and Mominul Haque could take Bangladesh ably forward in the Galle Test. At the end of the second day, the visitors were two down and needed another 236 to avoid the follow-on.

The third-wicket pair had added 70 runs by the close, Ashraful moving swiftly to 65. The team would hope for a measured approach from him on the third morning. Mominul, also on debut, didn't show any signs of nerves in getting to 35 by stumps, and both batsmen would be required to replicate their Matara tour-match partnership if Bangladesh are to prosper.

"I think the momentum will shift if we are able to bat out the third day," Anamul said. "We still have eight wickets in hand and both batsmen at the crease are set."

Ashraful and Mominul came together after Anamul tried an inside-out shot against Ajantha Mendis that went horribly wrong. "This is the first time I got out playing this particular shot," Anamul said. "I had played it in the West Indies series, where I removed my feet from the line of the ball and played the shot. I picked the doosra here, but the ball turned and I couldn't hit it."

Until he fell in the 24th over, Anamul hardly looked in trouble although he took a very cautious approach. He batted exactly an hour and a half as he moved to 13 off 68 balls, leaving as many as possible and merely placing the ball. With Jahurul Islam, who fell in the eighth over for 20, Anamul forms Bangladesh's first all right-handed opening partnership in seven years - the first since Javed Omar and Nafees Iqbal in the Bogra Test against Sri Lanka in March 2006.

Anamul's stand with Ashraful gave Bangladesh the assurance they needed at the start of the innings, but Anamul was not happy that he could not build on his disciplined start. "I got out just when I was supposed to make the runs. I had struggled my way through the innings, playing out the pace bowlers and settling against the spinners.

"Ashraful bhai started to score the runs as soon as he was set. I felt that I should have stayed at the wicket longer to make the runs."

He remained positive though, gaining inspiration from his maiden ODI century which came in only his second game. "My international [ODI series] debut went off well. When it comes to Test cricket, a player feels everything is new in his first Test match. It took me some time to adjust against the different types of bowlers. I tried to spend time at the crease, and overall I didn't feel too bad today."