Soumya Sarkar, Mahmudullah ace the short-ball test

After Bangladesh collapsed to an innings defeat in Hamilton despite two fantastic hundreds in the second innings, their stand-in skipper Mahmudullah has pointed to the team’s failures in the starkly-contrasted first innings that saw them being bowled out for 234 – an underwhelming score in a high-scoring Test match.
“I feel we missed an opportunity in the first innings,’’ Mahmudullah told reporters after the match. “We needed another big innings from someone, and then the result would have been different. But I think batsmen will be feeling positive leading in the second Test.”
Bangladesh went on to lose the opening Test by an innings and 52 runs but in the process gave a good account of themselves for the first time in the series. Mahmudullah and Soumya Sarkar scored brilliant hundreds, and their highest Test scores in the process, on the morning of the fourth day.
The visitors had earlier crumbled to 234 in their first innings after being put into bat and went on to the back foot after New Zealand posted their highest Test total of 715 for 6 before declaring on the third day. Bangladesh were 174 for 4 overnight, meaning they had to something extraordinary to survive the Test on the fourth day.
Mahmudullah made 146 whereas Soumya made 149 runs to make New Zealand sweat, something New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson also admitted, as the visitors braved it all – reverse swing, bodyline, spin into the rough, swing – to take some confidence ahead of the second Test.
Mahmudullah hailed Soumya for his brave hundred as he felt that he was the major reason they could put up 255 runs for the fifth wicket.
‘’Soumya’s role was important at that time. He was batting with good rhythm and he was taking risks,’’ said Mahmudullah. ‘’He was hitting boundaries and disturbing the bowler’s line and lengths. He was doing that successfully. Our partnership was growing nicely.