Nervous fizz helps bubbly Mehidy to maiden ton

Nakul Pande

It has been proved by no less a statistical mind than Andy Zaltzman that the "nervous nineties" are not actually a thing for the batter approaching a hundred.

But Zaltzman made no claims about the poor soul at the other end watching their teammate approach the ton.

And certainly for Bangladesh all-rounder Mehidy Hasan, it was he who had to calm his partner Mustafizur Rahman rather than the other way round while on the final approach to his first Test hundred

Mehidy, 23, and Mustafizur, 25, have been friends since their under-17 days, and when the pair came together just before tea on day 2 in Chattogram, the latter was anxious not to leave his pal stranded.

Speaking to Cricbuzz after close of play, Mehidy said: ''Mustafizur was very nervous, as he wasn't sure if he would be able to give me appropriate support.

"I reached out to him and said to not worry and I advised him to play naturally, and take little to no pressure."

Mehidy was in some ways just following the chain of command, or at least the batting order, acting on sage advice given by his experienced batting colleagues.

Tamim Iqbal, the only batter to be dismissed for single figures as Bangladesh flayed West Indies to the tune of 430, advised that Mehidy look to leave outside off and play through the V, particularly against Shannon Gabriel.

And Tamim wasn't Mehidy's only source of advice: "I'm blessed with the advice from Mushfiq bhai [Mushfiqur Rahim] as he used to take me with him to practice and shared some valuable tips with me."

And as though that wasn't enough to take on, he successfully assimilated shot selection advice from a returning hero.

"At one point I was thinking to play a slog sweep to release [the] pressure, and Shakib bhai [Shakib Al Hasan] suggested me to try paddle-sweep instead," Mehidy revealed.

"I tried to follow it thinking [the] chance of getting dismissed is much lesser."

The Joe Root method, as Rory Burns can attest, is not as easy as the England captain makes it look.

Mehidy went on to add 4/58 to his 103 as, despite a groin injury to Shakib, Bangladesh bowled the understrength tourists out for 259, closing day 3 at 47/3, leading by 218.