Bangladesh top-order batsman Najmul Hossain Shanto said they are looking forward to batting longer to ensure a commanding position for the Tigers in the Kandy Test against Sri Lanka.
Bangladesh won the toss on Wednesday and opted to bat first in the first Test of the two-match series. They accumulated 302 runs for two wickets at the end of the day thanks to the maiden ton by Najmul (126*).
“It’s too early to think about the result of this game,” Najmul told a virtual press conference after day’s play. “It’s just day one. The longer we can bat, the more control we’ll have in this game. We’re looking forward to batting for a long time.”
Najmul came to the national set-up playing at all stages of the development group of Bangladesh cricket. But he disappointed with the bat in six Tests that he played so far. Najmul, however, played well at the domestic circuit.
“I had nothing to prove,” Najmul added. “I’ve worked so hard over the last four-five months. So I believed that I score at any moment. I was relaxed at the wicket. I just wanted to stay calm and keep enjoying my batting which eventually resulted in a good way.”
Bangladesh lost the right-handed opener, Saif Hassan, off the last ball of the second over of the match which forced Najmul to come to bat early in the morning. He took it as an opportunity and batted through almost the entire day.
The 22-year-old batsman has credited Tamim Iqbal for his success. He said: “It was tough to bat in the first session as there was some movement. Tamim told me to stay calm and play carefully. He also said the wicket is good to bat. Tamim batted well which helped me to take some time and get adapted.”
Najmul partnered with Tamim in the second wicket to post 144 runs, and he accompanied Mominul Haque in the third wicket to add 150 runs on the board – the highest third-wicket partnership for Bangladesh in away Tests.
“I didn’t think much about how many balls I faced or how many runs I scored. We were focused to make big partnerships. We took one step at a time which helped to come up with the big partnerships. Now the next session is very important for us. If we can play well in the first session, it’ll help us to understand how many runs we need to in the first innings and after that, we may think about winning this game,” Najmul added.