Mahmudullah revels in classy century amid crushing defeat

DHAKA, March 3, 2019 : Mahmudullah Riyad’s revolution as a Test batsman has caught the attention of many but it was a reward for his continuous hard-work and passion to thrive in the longer version format, said former cricket captain Gazi Ashraf Hossain.

Mahmudullah who led the side in the first Test against New Zealand in absence of regular captain Shakib Al Hasan struck a patient 146, his fourth Test century and his third in the last six innings.

His career-best 146 was complemented by Soumya Sarkar’s (149) maiden century as they put on a 235-run for the fifth wicket but it was not enough to save them from an innings and 52 runs defeat.

Amid the defeat, according to Ashraf, Mahmudullah’s century was stand out, eclipsing the effort of Soumya Sarkar and Tamim Iqbal’s stroke-filled 126 in the first innings.

“Among the three centuries that Bangladeshi batsman made in this Test, Mahmudullah is stand out as his century epitomizes the beauty and elegance,” Ashraf told BSS today.

“His placing, his every shot was picture-esque until he got out. The wicket was good but the Kiwi bowlers bowled really well and planned-way. They sorted out Bangladeshi batsmen’s weakness and bowled accordingly.

The century of Soumya and Tamim was also a treat to watch but they gave the bowlers more chances to dismiss them.” While it was his third century in last six innings, Mahmudullah had to wait for his second century for 105 months (8 years and 9 months).

He ended his century draught with 101 not out against Zimbabwe in Dhaka in last November. Thereafter he made 136 against West Indies, also in Dhaka before the Hamilton Test century.

After his 115 against New Zealand in February 2010, which was his maiden Test century, he had made a revolution in his ODI career, and T20 also, which often helped him kept his Test match struggle unnoticed. But the voice still was raising, slowly but gradually-whether he should get a permanent place in Bangladesh’s Test format.

If he silenced the critics by his 101 not out and 136 against Zimbabwe and West Indies, his 146 on Sunday at Hamilton established his place as a dependable Test batsman also, said Ashraf.

But he argued that Mahmudullah’s batting position in Test format was the reason that he took a long time to establish his credential as a Test batsman.

“He can’t bat steadily in one position in Test cricket-that was the reason that he never gets him steady in the longer version format,” Ashraf, also the former Cricket Operations chairman of BCB said.

“If you look at his glorious ODI and T20 innings, you will see everything came when he batted at higher order, which was not the case for him in Test cricket. Here he sometimes batted at No.5, or 6 or even 7 and 8. So it was not possible for him to play long innings regularly.”

“If you look at his last three centuries that also came at No.6 or 7 position which is not suitable for him according to me. I think if he batted higher at the order, he can play long innings more often. “