Mahmudullah had cut a disappointed figure at missing out on a maiden Test century by four runs against India recently, but he only had to wait one more match to get to the coveted landmark. After his 115 helped Bangladesh avert the follow-on on day three at Seddon Park, Mahmudullah's ecstatic on-field celebrations were followed by a chirpy press conference after stumps.
"I was happy that this time I got the century after missing out against India ... this one might have been my best innings so far because I came into a difficult situation with us six down for around 200, and we batted well," he said.
Mahmudullah also commented on his record-breaking partnership with his captain Shakib Al Hasan. "We had fun, it was a good partnership. We just tried to keep positive and go for the bad balls and were happy to make the runs. If you look at the scorecard, everyone in the top order made a start but didn't capitalise. So it was good, the way that Shakib and I batted well."
Shakib's controversial dismissal was played down by Mahmudullah, who believed the ball had carried to the keeper initially. "I thought it was a fair catch the way the New Zealanders were coming [into the huddle], but I was unhappy that Shakib couldn't also make a century. All the boys were a bit disappointed, but that's just a part of life."
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori also weighed in on the issue saying, "I haven't seen the replays, but Brendon was unsure about it so I went to the umpires and talked to them and they were confident about the decision," pointing out that Bangladesh "still had a review up their sleeve" but opted not to use it.
Vettori also praised the 145-run stand between Mahmudullah and Shakib. "It was a very good partnership. They were busy at the crease and put away every bad ball and put the pressure back on us."
Vettori revealed some of New Zealand's plan of attack for the rest of the match. "We'll try to bat out the first two sessions tomorrow and see where we are from there," he said. "We got a few to turn today, but there is still a large role for the seamers to play. They need to execute better in the fourth innings when we are trying to bowl them out."