It was a disappointing batting display by Bangladesh. The story would have been more pitiable but for the useful half-centuries by Soumya Sarkar (52, 73b, 9x4,1x6) and captain Mushfiqur Rahim (58, 106b, 8x4, 1x6) as it eventually managed to score 224 for eight declared against India A on the first day of the two-day practice game at Gymkhana Ground here on Sunday.
In reply, India A was 91 for one at close of play in 21 overs.
On a pitch which had good bounce, swing and carry especially in the morning session, left-arm pacer and local boy Chama Milind bowled well to trouble the openers with his pace and diagonal line. And, not surprisingly, he provided the first breakthrough inducing a false stroke from opener Imrul Kayes (4), to be caught in the deep by Hardik Pandya in the fifth over of the innings.
Then, another left-armer Aniket Choudhary cleaned up the dangerous Tamim Iqbal (13) cheaply to leave the visiting team, electing to bat, struggling at 44 for two in the 10th over.
For a team which opted for this practice match ahead of the one-off Test match against India starting from February 9 at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here, it was not the kind of batting the Bangladesh think-tank would have hoped for.
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The flamboyant Soumya Sarkar, after early anxious moments, settled down to play some pleasing strokes on either side of the wicket. The way he cut and whipped Hardik Pandya for two consecutive boundaries was a treat to watch.
Pandya required some medical attention on his right foot and did not bowl after three expensive overs in the morning.
Once Soumya Sarkar was trapped lbw by left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, it was left to the gritty captain Mushfiqur to hold the innings together as the others failed to come good. He did that in style with a well-paced half-century laced with some fine strokes.
But for the two knocks by Soumya Sarkar and Mushfiqur, it was a forgetful day with the bat for the visiting side.
For India A, 27-year-old Aniket bowled well to finish with a four-wicket haul with emphasis being not just on pace and swing but accuracy too.
“I am pleased with my performance but disappointed at missing a five-wicket haul. This pitch suited my style of bowling. Definitely, this spell should give me a lot of confidence as I chase my dream to play for India one day,” Aniket remarked at the end of the day’s play.
Once Bangladesh declared its innings at 224 for eight in 67 overs, India A opener Priyank Panchal (40 batting, 62b, 6x4) and Shreyas Iyer (29 batting, 35, 4x4, 1x6) batted fluently against both pace and spin after the early exit of their captain Abhinav Mukund (16) in the 11th over of the innings.
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal b Aniket Choudhary 13, Imrul Kayes c Pandya b Chama Milind 4, Soumya Sarkar lbw b Shahbaz Nadeem 52, Mominul Haque c Ishan b Aniket Choudhary 5, Mahmudullah c Panchal b Kuldeep Yadav 23, Mushfiqur Rahim c Pant b Aniket Choudhary 58, Sabbir Rahman lbw b Vijay Shankar 33, Liton Das not out 23, Mehedi Hasan Miraz lbw b Aniket Choudhary 0, Taijul Islam not out 4.
Extras: (w-5, nb-4) 9.
Total: (for eight wickets in 67 overs) 224.
Fall of wickets: 1-22 (Kayes), 2-44 (Tamim), 3-72 (Mominul), 4-89 (Sarkar), 5-113 (Mahmudullah), 6-184 (Sabbir), 7-206 (Mushfiqur), 8-206 (Mehedi Hasan).
India A bowling: Chama Milind 12-3-26-1, Hardik Pandya 3-0-29-0, Aniket Choudhary 12-2-26-4, Vijay Shankar 5-0-32-1, Jayant Yadav 9-2-41-0, Shahbaz Nadeem 16-5-38-1, Kuldeep Yadav 10-1-32-1.
India A: Priyank Panchal batting 40, Abhinav Mukund c Kayes b Subashis Roy 16, Shreyas Iyer batting 29.
Extras: (lb-4, nb-2) 6.
Total: (for one wicket in 21 overs) 91.
Bangladesh bowling: Shafiul Islam 4-1-17-0, Taskin Ahmed 6-1-25-0, Subhashis Roy 5-1-11-1, Mehedi Hasan Mirza 4-0-27-0, Taijul Islam 2-0-7-0.