Bangladesh Beat New Zealand XI In Charity T20 Game

Bangladesh completed preparations for their international series against New Zealand with a four-wicket victory over a New Zealand XI in a Twenty20 match in Hamilton on Sunday. Bangladesh, who have lost both their one-day games against first-class sides in New Zealand, will take confidence from the result against a team that included several members of the full New Zealand side. Former New Zealand batsman James Marshall top-scored for the New Zealand XI with 33 off 26 balls, while Scott Styris scored 29 as the hosts made 133 for seven off their 20 overs. Bangladesh began their chase for the modest total poorly, losing Tamim Iqbal in the first over for a duck and Junaid Siddiqui shortly after for four to leave them struggling at 19 for two in the fourth over. However, useful contributions from Aftab Ahmed (20), captain Mohammad Ashraful (20) and Saqibul Hasan (22), all of whom were run out, moved the visitors to 86 for five in the 12th over. All-rounder Farhad Reza then smashed 31 off 17 balls in a 50-run partnership with Mehrab Hossain jnr (22 not out) to take Bangladesh to 133 for five before he was caught by Gareth Hopkins off Scott Styris. Mushfiqur Rahim then scored the winning run off the last ball of the 17th over. The match was played to help raise money for World Vision's relief fund to alleviate the damage suffered in Bangladesh from Cyclone Sidr in November. International Cricket Council chief executive Malcolm Speed presented team management with a cheque for $250,000 before the match. The first game of the three-match one-day series is on Wednesday at Eden Park in Auckland before the series moves to Napier on Dec. 28 and Queenstown on Dec. 31. The two sides will then play a two-match test series. © Reuters 2007