A two-day practice match before a Test series does not promise a lot in the way of preparation, but the touring West Indians and what turned into four Bangladesh Test squad members in the BCB XI got some value out of the match that ended in a draw at the MA Aziz Stadium in Chattogram yesterday.
It was an auspicious day for Shadman Islam, the highest scorer in the recently concluded National Cricket League (NCL), as his innings of 73 off 169 balls earned him a maiden call-up to the Test squad.
Soumya Sarkar, back in the Test squad for the first time since Bangladesh's tour of South Africa in October 2017, continued the hot form he showed in the NCL and in the third ODI against Zimbabwe last month with a brisk 78 off 102 balls in BCB XI's 232 for five on the second day. On the first day West Indians had scored 303 for seven before declaring their innings overnight, with Shai Hope top-scoring with 88 off 112 balls.
Young off-spinner Nayeem Hasan took two for 105 off 27 overs. Mohammad Mithun, the other Bangladesh player featuring in the BCB XI, played out 70 balls for his unbeaten 27 before both captains -- Rubel Hossain and Kraigg Brathwaite -- agreed to call it a day about half an hour before the scheduled close.
The foundation for BCB XI's strong reply was a 126-run opening stand between Soumya and Shadman. Soumya, who hit 10 fours and a six, was caught behind off left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican after lunch, and then Test discard Nazmul Hossain was bowled by a Kemar Roach delivery. Mithun then ran out Sadman, and another Test discard in Liton Kumar also disappointed when he was bowled by Shannon Gabriel.
West Indians used eight bowlers, giving them as much match practice as possible. However, practice is all the match provided as the slow and low wicket did not give Bangladesh a taste of West Indian pace, nor did it provide the tourists a glimpse of conditions they might encounter when the Test starts at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on November 22.
SCORES IN BRIEF
WEST INDIANS: First innings 303 for 7 decl.
BCB XI: First innings 232 for 5 (Shadman 73, Soumya 78, Najmul 21, Mithun 27 not out, Zakir 18; Roach 1-18, Gabriel 2-24)
Result: Match drawn.