Mehidy Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman are friends for eight years and it looks to be destined these two buddies will accompany each other through thick and thin.
In the cricket fraternity friendship of Mehidy and Mustafizur is quite familiar and when Mustafizur walked to bat there were murmurs in the press box considering Mehidy was just eight runs away from scoring his maiden Test hundred.
Mehidy, who was waiting on the other end, needed that mental encouragement to cross the nervous nineties and there could be no one better than Mustafizur, who was also determined not to spoil his friend’s party, with whom he had been sharing the room on most occasions since their Under-17 days.
“Mustafizur was very nervous as he wasn’t sure if he would be able to give me appropriate support. He knew how big of a moment it was for me,” said Mehedy, who completed his maiden Test ton on Thursday.
“I thought of reaching out to him and said not to worry. I advised him to play naturally and take no pressure. I believed in the Almighty and left it completely to my fate and told Mustafizur to do the same.”
Mehidy knew he needed to deliver and he did it in style by picking up his maiden Test hundred and in the process helped the hosts earn a commendable 430 runs on board in their first innings against West Indies.
It was a race between Mehidy’s getting to his maiden Test ton and West Indies bowlers’ trying to end the proceedings.
But the visitors had to toil hard with both their spinners bowling for more than 40 overs, with Jomel Warrican picking up four wickets while Rahkeem Cornwall chipped in with two wickets.
Mehidy had other plans on Thursday as he stitched two crucial partnerships of – 44 runs and 57 runs with Taijul Islam and Nayeem Hasan respectively but probably the most crucial one was the small 14-run partnership that helped him reach the magical three-digit mark.
Mehidy knew that he needed to deliver considering he was not part of the playing XI during the last match against Zimbabwe and in the present-day Nayeem stands out as the premier off-spinner of the country.
Mehidy credited seniors especially Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim for his transformation as he feels listening to them paid him off.
“Not only Tamim Iqbal, as I’m blessed with the advice from Mushfiqur Rahim as well. Mushfiq bhai used to take me to practice with him and shared some valuable tips with me.
“Both of my seniors advised me to play the deliveries that come to the body as straight as possible and leave the others which I guess helped me a lot during this course as Gabriel (Shannon) was constantly bowling to my body today.
“I follow what my seniors told me to do in that case and was successful doing so,” said Mehidy.
Mehidy said his childhood mentor Al Mahmud played a big role to inspire him.
“I wasn’t a believer myself as my first coach, Al Mahmud, who took me under his wings back in Khulna, called me last night over the phone and told me that he wants to see me scoring a Test match hundred.
“I wasn’t sure about it is possible at first but now I know if I play to my merits and get ample support from the tail-enders anything is possible,” he added.