No disgrace for B'desh: Mahmud

Updated on Aug 25, 2003 09:01 PM IST

Embattled Bangladesh captain Khaled Mahmud said on Monday his team was defeated but not disgraced after their seven-wicket defeat in the first Test against Pakistan.

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PTI | ByAgence France-Presse, Peshawar, Pakistan

Embattled Bangladesh cricket captain Khaled Mahmud said Monday his team was defeated but not disgraced after their seven-wicket defeat in the first Test against Pakistan.

Bangladesh lost to Pakistan in the southern port city Karachi on Sunday after five days of a Test that marked international cricket's return to the terror-hit country after a 15-month drought.

"Bangladesh was defeated but not disgraced and I am happy the way the team has performed," said Mahmud, who took over as captain following Bangladesh's win-less World Cup campaign in March.

"Our boys worked hard but we couldn't stay at the wicket as long as required."

The second match of the three-Test series starts in this northwest border town on Wednesday.

"What is important for us is to keep the improvement intact. The improvement graph must go up and I think we are going in the right direction," Mahmud, 31, said.

Berated for their below-par showings at international level since gaining Test status in 2000, Bangladesh have lost 21 of their 22 Tests. The other result was a draw caused by bad weather.

However since the induction of former Australian player Dave Whatmore as coach in June the Test minnows have shown signs of improvement.

Though they lost both Tests against world champions Australia by an innings last month they brushed off claims of a humiliation, and enjoyed some good sessions in a series dubbed the "biggest mismatch" in Test history beforehand.

"I am not happy with my own performance and have said before the tour that if I don't perform well I will leave the captaincy," said Mahmud, whose performance is under scrutiny.

As a medium pacer Mahmud conceded most runs, including 406 for a single wicket on his team's tour of Australia. As a lower order batsman he averages less than 12 per innings.

Victorious Pakistani captain Rashid Latif praised the Bangladeshis' fighting spirit.

"I give full credit to Bangladesh, they took the Test to the fifth day and it goes to their advantage and help them further improve," said Latif.

Pakistan is likely to play the same eleven for the second Test after retaining the 15-man squad announced for the Karachi Test.

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