On This Day, 17 Feb 2010: Day of Mahmudullah’s maiden test ton

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After losing the Twenty20 and succumbing clean-sweep in the ODI series by 3-0, the one-off Test (February 15-19, 2010) at Seddon Park was another tough challenge for Bangladesh, given Bangladesh’s susceptibility in the longest format of the game. Bangladesh had a few bright moments during the ODI series: the form of Tamim Iqbal at the top, Mushfiqur Rahim’s fighting spirit in the lower-middle order, and Imrul Kayes’ maiden century. All these performances, though, came in separate matches and were solitary efforts while wickets had fallen or were falling at the other end. Bangladesh’s batsmen failed to fire collectively and, worryingly, there were no contributions from Shakib Al Hasan with bat and Mohammad Ashraful.

Bangladesh, playing under severe pressure, did exceedingly well in that test match. New Zealand eventually won the match, it’s right, but Bangladesh put a big total of 408 runs in their first innings in reply to New Zealand’s 553 and succeeded to avoid follow-on.

In the context of the history of Bangladesh’s previous test matches in New Zealand, it was a huge achievement what so ever. All Bangladeshi top-order batsmen got a start, but failed to carry on after getting set. Bangladesh lost their 6th wicket on 196 and according to their history of sudden collapse it was obvious that they would get all-out soon and would be enforced to follow on.

Mahmudullah, coming at number 8, had a completely different plan. He was calm and composed, majestic and elegant. He and Shakib added a stroke-filed 145 runs partnership and propelled Bangladesh innings to overpass 400 mark.

Mahmdullah played 177 balls and hit 17 fours and 2 sixes to play his 115 runs innings. He was eventually trapped in front by Daniel Vettori, while the rest of the tail perished around him.