Tigers to try hard to avoid ignominious whitewash against Kiwis

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DHAKA, March 14, 2019 (BSS)- Tiger fans are hoping that Bangladesh would leave no stone unturned to end a disappointing New Zealand tour with some solace as they take on the hosts in the third and final Test at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Saturday.

The match kicks-off at 4 AM (Bangladesh time).

The visitors had already conceded the series by losing the first two Tests, both by an innings margin after being whitewashed in the three-match ODI series. The batsman failed to put up any significant resistance in the face of short ball barrage of the Kiwis bowlers, paving the way of the two ignominious defeats.

In the first Test, they lost by an innings and 52-run margin while they tasted an innings 12-run margin defeat in the second Test, inside three days. The first two days of the second Test in Wellington was washed out due to heavy rain.

Mahmudullah Riyad, who is leading the side in absence of Shakib Al Hasan, termed the defeat in the second Test as a very disappointing, considering the fact they had the chance to save the Test after the rain shortened the game.

But the Bangladeshi batsman, apart from Mahmudullah himself and opener Tamim Iqbal, looked clueless against the short balls of Neil Wagener and Trent Boult.

However the stand in captain urged to show guts in the third Test as they are on the brink of tasting another whitewash. A defeat in the third Test means Bangladesh will end another New Zealand series without any victory. Bangladesh indeed has never won any match in any format of cricket at New Zealand’s own backyard since touring the country in 2001.

“We have to bat with more guts for longer periods,” interim skipper Mahmudullah said on Tuesday following the defeat in second Test in Wellington.

“A number of our batsmen are playing half-hearted shots, or we are not committed. We are in two minds whether to play a shot or not. You need to back yourself. If you want to attack, you should know how you want to cope with their bouncer theory,” he added.

What would hurt Bangladesh that they got a good start from their openers in all two Test matches as they put on 50 plus partnership in the first three innings of two Tests, something which no other earlier Bangladesh team has done since South Africa in 1999.

But the middle order and the tail so far has ruined the positive efforts of the openers. “In the first innings, Tamim and Shadman gave us a good start and even after Wagner started with his bouncer theory, we were handling him well but then we gave it away,” he said.

Bangladesh’s struggling middle order however will be bolstered by the return of Mushfiqur Rahim who had good track record against New Zealand at least in the Test cricket.

Team’s manager Khaled Masud Pilot said Mushfiqur Rahim started batting and felt no pain, which made him all set to return to the fold as Bangladesh are seeking to avoid the total ‘Kiwi Wash’.

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