Experimental Tigers lose opener
Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and co received a rough welcome when they lost their first unofficial practice match against Australia XI by five wickets at the Allan Border Ground yesterday. But despite making a losing start to their World Cup tour, the Tigers management were not disappointed because it was a match which saw the visitors experiment with a number of aspects.
Batting first, Bangladesh were bundled out for 231 in 45.4 overs. In reply, the hosts reached home with five wickets and 6.4 overs remaining. Mominul Haque top-scored for the Tigers, hitting three fours and a six in his 65-ball 52, before being called back by the team management.
“We fielded 13 players and we wanted the top order to get an opportunity to bat. That's why we asked Mominul to come back. We were in a good position at that point in time (165 for 3).
“We however did not expect the batsmen to get out so soon. We wanted the likes of Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan to get chances to play,” explained Khaled Mahmud.
Contrary to popular belief, the extra bounce did not trouble the batsmen.
“They were actually batting well. The ball came to the bat nicely. But unfortunately they lost their wickets at the wrong time. The ground is small so a total of around 260 to 270 was a minimum here,” believed Mahmud.
With regards to the bowling department, Mahmud reckoned that the spinners had room for improvement. Rubel Hossain, Mashrafe and Taskin took four of the five wickets, while Shakib scalped one. Taijul Islam gave 56 runs in his seven overs while Arafat Sunny leaked 33.