England all-rounder Chris Woakes believes Mahmudullah's wicket in the final ball of the second day of the ongoing second Test will give them a psychological advantage when they begin the crucial third day's play on Sunday.
“I think it's evenly balanced, getting a lead was quite crucial for us. The partnership between me and [Adil] Rashid was really important for us. We're really pleased from that point of view,” Woakes told the media on Saturday.
“It would have been nice to have got a couple more wickets and maybe for less runs but it is what it is and that wicket at the end probably gives us a little bit of confidence going into [Sunday]. It's an exciting Test match,” he said.
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England's Chris Woakes plays a shot DHAKA TRIBUNE
Woakes is of the opinion that anything above 250 will be tough to chase on this wicket.
“I'd like to think we can chase 250. We got 240 (244) in the first innings. Partnerships throughout the whole innings will be crucial but at the same time, we need guys at the top of the order and the middle of the order to put some partnerships together and build scores that way and then put the pressure on the Bangladesh bowlers. I think 250 will be chaseable,” said the Warwickshire cricketer.
Woakes admitted that the 99-run partnership between him and Rashid was vital as it brought the visitors right back into the game.
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England's Adil Rashid prepares to launch against the bowling of Bangladesh's Mehedi Hasan Miraz DHAKA TRIBUNE
“It was very crucial in the context of the game. We were obviously quite well behind when we met together at the crease. At the beginning our target was to close off Bangladesh's total. But after we built a partnership, it was very crucial for our side to get past the Bangladesh total,” he said.
“It (partnership) has played a big role. If we had to start from 80-100 runs behind Bangladesh in the third innings, then the game could almost be over for us. That partnership brought us back to level almost,” he added.
Woakes thinks their spinners always feel the pressure when they tour the subcontinent but he expressed confidence that their trio of spinners – Zafar Ansari, Rashid and Moeen Ali – will be able to utilise the conditions and bowl a tight line on Sunday.
“I think whenever an English team comes to the subcontinent, our spinners are always under pressure to deliver. Our spinners have taken the challenge and I am sure they will be looking out for [Sunday]. There is a big morning session coming for us on the third day. Hopefully our spinners could pick up some early wickets and put pressure back on Bangladesh,” he said.