Rainfall in Chittagong did not allow a single ball to be bowled as the third and final day of the three-day practice match between Bangladesh Red and Bangladesh Green was washed out, with the match called off yesterday at 12.45pm, thus bringing an end to the Chittagong leg of Tigers' preparation camp ahead of the Australia series.
This might be a recurring tale in the much-awaited two-Test series against Australia, who are set to arrive on August 18 for Tests beginning on August 27 and September 4 in Dhaka and Chittagong respectively. The Bangladesh Meteorological Department, when contacted, would not be drawn into making a definitive forecast for the series as it is still too far off, but indicated that rainfall is expected throughout August and will only abate after the second week of September.
However, it was a fruitful weeklong outing in Chittagong for the cricketers who practised with high intensity on the centre square, one of the pitches of which will be the surface for the second Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
Shafiul Islam had a good time with the ball on the first day of the practice match for Tamim Iqbal's Green team as the pacer bagged five wickets and, more importantly, showed a glimpse of his ability to surprise batsmen with pace.
Mushfiqur Rahim's Red team declared their first innings on 140/9 after young Nazmul Hossain Shanto top-scored with 53 while the skipper added 30. In reply, Bangladesh Green were all-out for 283 with the recently out of favour Mominul Haque displaying his quality with a team highest 73, while fellow fringe player Nasir Hossain added 62.
Fast bowler Rubel Hossain and left-arm spinner Saqlain Sajib picked up three wickets each while Taijul Islam took two for the bowling side. The Red team concluded the second day on 24 for one.
The cricketers will return to Dhaka today and will resume their preparation from tomorrow afternoon at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
According to batsman Sabbir Rahman they have been able to achieve 70-80 per cent of the purpose for the training in Chittagong, adding that he is working on his technique and trying to be more patient. “The reason we were here for the practice match, I think 70-80 per cent of that was covered. Although the third day was washed out due to rain, the training we have done here in Chittagong along with playing two days of the match, I think we have done what we wanted.
“Basically I am working on batting technique -- the bat-lift along with how to adjust to both the front and back-foot deliveries, how to leave the ball and trying to be more patient,” Sabbir told reporters at the venue yesterday.
The 25-year-old, who almost took Bangladesh past the finish line on his Test debut against England at the same venue last year -- when he remained unbeaten on 64 batting at number seven -- informed that he is likely to bat at number six.
“Obviously it would have felt good if we won the game on my debut as we were very close to a win, but hopefully against Australia we will try to perform well and not look for a win rather as much as focusing on playing better cricket -- ultimately that will help us to get a result in our favour,” he said.