Sports, Cricket

Shanto & Co had verve to win NZ Test

Published : 02 Dec 2023 09:11 PM | Updated : 03 Dec 2023 12:24 PM

Bangladesh skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto on Saturday said that the belief in every player for a victory was key in their landmark Test victory against New Zealand in the first Test.

The Tigers which came into the game without as many as five first choice players including their biggest match winner Shakib Al Hasan fought admirably in the last five days to secure a 150-run victory against a full strength New Zealand side today at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.

The victory also gave Shanto a victory on his captaincy debut but what was more delighting him for is that he became the first Bangladeshi cricketer to hit a century as a captain in maiden match.

His century in the second innings in fact paved Bangladesh's only second and first victory at home against New Zealand.

After being appointed as captain following Shakib's injury-forced absence, Shanto made it clear they have all weapons at their arsenal, required to win a game at least at home and his statement was preciously proved.

"This is always a nice feeling to win a game and that too as a captain in the first match. I personally think we played as a team and played very good cricket over the last five days," Shanto said after the game.

"I was very clear. I didn't tell it (about winning the game) to motivate anyone. I meant to win this series.. we'll play to win the series. It's not that I only have that belief, in fact everyone in the team has the belief. When I saw every player thinking like that, it gives me confidence." Shanto believes that they should win the series as they are playing in their conditions which suit their batting and bowling strength nicely.

"We are playing in our own condition which suites our strength well. I think it is possible to win the series. The job is now half done and one match is left. I t's not that we'll now go to the second game and win it straightway. You have to work hard. Those five days will be difficult again. I hope that we can improve and win the next match."

Before his 105 in the second innings, Shanto hit an attacking 35 ball-37 in the first innings. But failing to covert the start met with huge criticism.

Shanto said he played according to the Kiwis bowling plan and therefore he had to take risk in the first innings. "During the first innings, they were setting up a bit of an attacking field, naturally I had options; I was getting boundary options. I personally feel, it was not easy to defend for a long time on this wicket as there were many fielders in front. When they set up a little in-out field, I didn't have too much trouble playing defensive shots. Then I went to my usual game plan. I did not go for such a risky shot. When they attacked again, I went for the run again. So that was the plan. Sometimes there are different plans. So that's how I proceed," he explained.

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