Mominul Haque could not have expected a more challenging situation than the one he faced on Sunday before scoring a scintillating hundred to put Bangladesh in a strong position in the second Test against Zimbabwe in Dhaka.
Before coming into the game, both Mominul and Bangladesh team were surrounded by cycle of negativity, which put them in a situation to rethink about their way of playing Test cricket.
The lack of discipline in the batting saw them failing to cross 200-run mark in their last eight Test innings, which culminated to an embarrassing 151-run defeat in the first Test against Zimbabwe in Sylhet.
Mominul, who started this year with consecutive hundreds in Chattogram Test against Sri Lanka, suddenly felt insecure about his position, making only 69 runs in those eight innings at an average of 8.63.
Things turned complicated when he found the team at 26-3 at one stage of the innings with Zimbabwe pacers wreaking havoc being assisted by early morning moisture.
A catch dropped by Brian Chari on nine was enough to make him nervous. Great batsman often show their character in these kind of situations and Mominul did exactly the same by hitting 161 off 247 balls – his seventh Test hundred.
‘I think it is one of my best hundreds,’ Mominul rated his innings at the end of first day’s play. ‘It was an interesting innings. It was tougher than some of my other hundreds.
‘It is a very interesting wicket. Something or the other will keep happening on all five days….Bounce wasn’t uniform. There was pressure due to early wickets.
‘I think if this is what happens on the first day, just imagine what might happen on the third or fourth day,’ added the 27-year old batsman.
Mominul was well-supported by his senior team-mate Mushfiqur Rahim, who also struck a brilliant hundred on the same day, and the pair added a record-breaking 266 runs for the fourth wicket to lift their side from the initial disaster.
The joint effort took Bangladesh to 303-5, a kind of total they were really looking for after a string of insipid show.
Mominul’s emotion was seen after he reached the hundred as he walked towards the dressing room though Mominul claimed he was short of ideas about celebrating his innings.
‘Once we got out of the tough situation, we felt more comfortable. I think reaching a hundred always makes you emotional. I didn’t know what I was going to do [to celebrate],’ he said.
The left-hander credited Mushfiq for inspiring him throughout the innings, which he said was crucial.
‘Mushfiq bhai guided me throughout my innings. I found out why he is one of the top five players in Bangladesh. It really inspired me. I think his input was important for me,’ Mominul said.
Mominul, however, felt disappointed for his dismissal just four overs before the stumps that denied Bangladesh a greater control in their innings.
‘There’s a bit of regret of course. My dismissal brought along another wicket. It would have been better had I batted for longer for the team,’ he said.
Stumps, Day 1
Bangladesh first innings
Liton c Mavuta b Jarvis9
Imrul c Chakabva b Jarvis0
Mominul c Chari b Chatara161
Mithun c Taylor b Jarvis0
Mushfiq not out111
Taijul c Chakabva b Jarvis4
Mahmudullah not out0
Extras (b9, lb5, w1, nb3)18
Total (five wickets; 90 overs)303
To Bat: Ariful, Mehedi, Mustafiz, Khaled
Fall of wickets: 1-13 (Imrul), 2-16 (Liton), 3-26 (Mithun), 4-292 (Mominul), 5-299 (Taijul)
Jarvis 19 5 48 3
Chatara 18 10 28 1
Tiripano 15 3 33 1
Raza 12 1 63 0
Williams 8 0 31 0
Mavuta 16 0 79 0
Masakadza 2 0 7 0
Source: New Age.