Although a practice match is not the most serious of contests, Bangladesh’s batsmen continued a worrying trend from the thrashings in the Test matches as nine out of 10 fell playing shots as they were bowled out for 255 in just 48.1 overs by a South Africa Invitational XI in the practice game at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein.
For a change, a Bangladesh captain won the toss and chose to bat first on a belter of a wicket, but ODI skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza’s decision was not fully backed by his teammates as they were reduced to 63 for four. Opener Soumya Sarkar was dropped at slip off fast bowler Robbie Frylinck, but he did not cash in on his luck as he skied a pull shot to mid on in the eighth over off the same bowler.
Imrul Kayes had been batting impressively in the interim, hitting six boundaries in his 27. The best was a cover driven four off Beuran Hendricks in the seventh over. But immediately after Soumya’s dismissal, Imrul played a virtual replay of his first-innings dismissal in the second Test here on Saturday, wafting outside off stump to be caught behind for 27 and leave the team at 31 for two.
In the company of Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim then played some attractive shots, such as his cover drives off the pacers in the ninth over and the 11th over with an authoritative pull sandwiched in between.
Soon, however, Liton poked at a delivery outside off stump from Malusi Siboto to be caught behind for eight in the 14th over with the score on 61. In the very next over, Mushfiqur pulled left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso straight down the throat of deep midwicket to depart for a 29-ball 22.
Liton’s dismissal had brought on Shakib Al Hasan to play his first shot in anger on the tour after opting out of the Test leg, and Shakib did that with a fine shot through the off side for a boundary in the 16th over, and bettering the shot off the next ball from Siboto.
Mahmudullah Riyad announced his intentions with a six off Phangiso in the next over. The duo put on 57 runs for the fifth wicket before Mahmudullah became the only batsman to be out off a defensive shot as he was stuck on the back foot and was beaten by an inswinger to be trapped in front for 21 in the 25th over by Willem Mulder.
The biggest partnership of the innings followed as Sabbir Rahman joined Shakib for a 76-run sixth-wicket stand in just 10.3 overs. Sabbir hit the spinners, skipper and off-spinner JP Duminy being the other one in the attack, for three straight sixes over the course of his innings. Shakib reached his 50 in the 33rd over off his 54th delivery, but four overs later, after hitting an inside-out cover drive for four off Phangiso, he holed out to mid on trying to hit a big one down the ground. Shakib was the top-scorer for the Tigers with his 67-ball 68.
At 196 for six, Nasir Hossain joined Sabbir, who soon went from 43 to 49 with his third six of the innings in the 41st over and brought up his 50 off 51 balls with a couple through midwicket off Phangiso in the next ball.
In the 42nd over however, he tried to scoop a ball that was well wide of off stump over fine leg and succeeded only in looping it for the keeper to run forward and take the catch. Two overs later Nadir departed, edging Mbulelo Budaza to the keeper off an attempted hook to leave Bangladesh on eight for 226. A few lusty blows from Mashrafe swelled the total for Bangladesh. He hit a big six over straight mid off in the 48th over to take the score to 253 for eight, but holed out to deep midwicket to be ninth out off the next ball. Mustafizur Rahman was then bowled in the 49th over as Bangladesh left 11 balls unused on a belter of a wicket.