‘It’s unbelievable’: Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque after defeating New Zealand in 1st Test

After Bangladesh beat New Zealand by eight wickets on the final day of the first Test, winning captain Mominul Haque praised his side for ending the World Test Champions’ winning run of 17 matches at home.

A sleepless Mominul was under pressure before the start of play on Wednesday but later hailed his side’s performance for doing well in all departments. “I can’t describe it, it’s unbelievable. I couldn’t sleep yesterday because of the pressure,” Mominul told reporters after the match got over.

“It was very important to win this test match. Two years ago, we didn’t play that much test cricket, so we were keen to improve. I think it was a team performance, we did very in all three departments. Our bowlers used the moisture really well, and the batters did really well too. I said previously that we need to win these test matches for our legacy.”

“Bangladesh had gone into the match focusing on the process rather than the result,” he added. “You have to have a clear mindset, before playing anywhere. If you’re going out of the subcontinent, and you think to yourself that ‘it will be tough,’ then it will be tough. We didn’t focus too much on the result of the test matches, we tried to focus on the process.”

Seamer Ebadot Hossain took a career best 6-46 as the tourists dismissed New Zealand for 169 early on day five at Mount Maunganui and then knocked off the 40 runs for victory for the loss of two wickets. It was Bangladesh’s first win in any format of the game in New Zealand and gave them a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

The Bangladesh captain also praised the performance of Ebadot, saying he had worked really well over the last two or three years.

“He has come from the Air Force and used to be a volleyball player,” Mominul added. “Our coaching staff did a lot of work to support him and helped him bowl in the right areas, and it was an unbelievable spell from him.”

The tall right-armer, who snaps to attention and salutes when he takes a wicket, saluted twice when he bowled Taylor for 40. Then he dismissed Kyle Jamieson to leave New Zealand 160-7. Shoriful pulled off a brilliant diving catch at mid-wicket to complete the second dismissal.

The hero of the match Ebadot also narrated his story after the match. “It’s a long story, volleyball player to Test cricketer,” Ebadot said. “But I’m a soldier of the Bangladesh Air Force and I know how to salute. On New Zealand soil over the last 11 years our brothers and our teams didn’t get any wins. But when we came to New Zealand we set a goal. We raised our hands and said Yes, we have to do it and we can do it on New Zealand soil.”

“New Zealand are Test champions so if we raise our hands and beat New Zealand on New Zealand soil our next generation will be able to beat them too.”

Ebadot credits Bangladesh’s West Indies-born bowling coach Ottis Gibson for his transformation as a fast bowler, for urging him to pitch the ball up on off stump. That was the key to Bangladesh’s bowling success on the a docile pitch at Bay Oval, where New Zealand’s shorter lengths were unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, New Zealand captain Tom Latham said that they were poor in their performance in all the departments. “We were short in all three facets. Bangladesh showed us how to go about things on that wicket. They were able to build partnerships, to bowl well from both ends and build pressure and unfortunately we weren’t able to do it for long enough,” said Latham.

The second Test begins at Christchurch on Sunday.

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