Ebadot Hossain - From playing volleyball in the Bangladesh Army to giving historic cricket win in New Zealand

Ebadot Hossain bowled a brilliant spell of 6/46 to help Bangladesh defeat New Zealand for a historic win and shock the ICC World Test Champions in their backyard.

Ebadot Hossain picked up 6/46 to help Bangladesh win for the first time in New Zealand. (Image credit: Twitter)

On January 5, 2022, the name Ebadot Hossain was trending all over the world. 2022 is just five days old but it has already provided cricket a major shock. It was all thanks to Ebadot Hossain. His haul of 6/46 in the second innings has helped Bangladesh secure a historic eight-wicket win against the ICC World Test Champions. Heading into the series, Bangladesh had lost 43 matches across formats in the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’. But, for Bangladesh, the dark clouds seemed unending. But, all that changed thanks to a player who only recently took to playing cricket five years ago.

Ebadot Hossain was in the Bangladesh Air Force and he was a volleyball player. But, he made the switch to cricket with limited success. In his first 10 Tests, he averaged 81 with the ball. Heading into the Bay Oval Test, New Zealand had not lost a single series at home since 2017. Now, the champions are at risk of losing their first-ever Test series against Bangladesh.

Read | Mohammad Ashraful – The flawed Bangladesh star who gave good moments for the country

That Bangladesh achieved the win without their star players in Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal speak volumes about their determination. Bangladesh performed like a team and it was Ebadot Hossain who brought about the Army spirit in the side. “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 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 is Test champions. So if we raise our hands and beat New Zealand, our next generation will be able to beat them too,” Ebadot said.

How Bangladesh won the Bay Oval Test?

Prior to their win at the Bay Oval, Bangladesh had won only five away Tests in their entire career. The 2009 win in the Caribbean came at a time when the entire ‘A’ team of the West Indies had gone on strike. Their other wins have come against Zimbabwe. They have lost a Test series to everyone, even against Afghanistan at home. It was safe to say that Bangladesh was deemed no favorites for the match against New Zealand.

Boosted by the unbeaten series run since 2017 and on the back of being ICC World Test Champions, New Zealand should have been comfortable. When day one ended, it was business as usual with Devon Conway scoring a century and New Zealand in a comfortable position. But, New Zealand lost six wickets for 70 runs to be bowled out for 328 on the second day. Prior to Ebadot Hossain’s heroics, Bangladesh’s batsmen did not let them down.

Bangladesh batsmen show discipline

The fight was first shown by Mahmudul Hasan Joy, one of the members of Bangladesh’s historic Under-19 World Cup triumph in 2020. Joy battled with Trent Boult, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, and Kyle Jamieson brilliantly. He showed patience and wore them down effectively on a pitch that was flat. The determination by Joy was carried forward by Mominul Haque and Liton Das.

No one in the Bangladesh camp scored a century but everyone chipped in. Many analysts prior to the game were stressing that whether Bangladesh would win one session. Here, they had dominated for two and a half days. The 158-run stand between Mominul and Liton ensured that New Zealand was playing catch-up. When Mehidy Hasan and Yasir Ali shared a 75-run stand for the seventh wicket, Bangladesh had a chance. The lead of 130 now gave New Zealand some tense moments.

Ebadot Hossain blows the game open for Bangladesh

New Zealand had erased the deficit thanks to a fighting fifty from Will Young. Skipper Tom Latham had departed cheaply but Young kept the fight going with Ross Taylor. There was a dropped catch of Taylor when he had come to the crease. A run-out was missed. Bangladesh’s old frailties under pressure were now coming out in the open. But, Ebadot Hossain bowled a spell that will go down in Bangladesh cricket folklore as stuff of legends.

Will Young dragged a shortish ball back onto the stumps to fall for 69. In the same over, Ebadot cleaned up Henry Nicholls with a reverse-swinging full delivery for 0. In his very next over, Ebadot trapped Tom Blundell LBW for 0 with another reverse-swinging delivery. Three wickets for four runs and Bangladesh had turned the game around spectacularly.

On the final day, Ebadot cleaned up Ross Taylor for 40 and snapped up Jamieson for 0 to seal the deal. Having earlier accounted for Latham, Ebadot single-handedly had given Bangladesh the key to glory. Bangladesh sealed the deal in 16 overs to break a nightmare for close to two decades.

For many years, people have been questioning Bangladesh’s status for Tests. The reactions have been harsh. But, January 5, 2022 will hopefully be a new dawn in Bangladesh cricket. All thanks to one Air Force soldier who quit volleyball to play cricket.

Sportslumo Desk

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