Tigers Fight Back On Opening Day

After a lacklustre morning session Bangladesh came back strongly to take the first day's honours of the two-day practice against the South African Airways Challenge XI at De Beers Diamond Oval today. The Tigers ended the day on 93 for 2 in 22 overs after bowling out the Challenge XI for 265. The Challenge XI had opted to bat on a wicket that was good for strokeplay but also offered the pacers encouragement when balls were pitched in the right areas. However, the Bangladesh bowlers struggled to bowl a consistent line and length and openers Divan van Wyk and Andre Seymore notched up 114 in 28 overs before lunch. Both batsmen were a shade lucky with Van Wyk surviving a confident caught behind shout while another appeal for a leg before against Seymore was turned down when he was 6. Nazmul Hossain, who bowled first change was the bowler on both occasions. With their confidence growing the two took the score to 170 by mostly playing in the v before fast bowler Shahadat Hossain changed the complexion of the innings by three wickets in three overs. In a five over spell Shahadat came tearing in and rather than pitching short kept the ball up to extract seam movement. Seymore (75 off 115 balls) was taken at second slip off the third ball of over 41 by Imrul Kayes and Shahadat's animated celebrations told the frustrations felt by the tourists until that moment. Shahadat struck again in his next over as Jonathan Beukes (1) played on to the stumps (172 for 2). The following over from Shahadat saw the back of Van Wyk who made a composed 87 off 141 balls with 14 fours. Wyk was undone by a delivery that lifted a length and took the bat's edge through to wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim (180 for 3). Khayelihle Zondo (25) tried to repair things with Warren Swan (13) but Swan was bowled before tea trying to pull Mehrab Hossain Jr. and there the resistance ended. Mehrab took another couple of wickets with his left-arm spin while pacer Mahbubul Alam Robin, who enjoyed prodigious swing throughout the day chipped in with two wickets as the Challenge XI were all out shortly after tea. Left with 20-odd overs to negotiate Bangladesh were off to a flier as Tamim Iqbal helped himself to some lusty cuts and drives in 50-ball 34 (5x4). But as he has done all tour the left-hander got out after getting set when he played all over a yorker from left-arm paceman Mthokozisi Shezi (51 for 1 in 13.4 overs). Number three Zunaed Siddique was caught behind next ball as he failed to get out of the way of a short ball from Shezi and was taken down the leg by wicketkeeper Wendell Bossenger. Captain Mohammad Ashraful joined the other opener Imrul Kayes (30 not out off 66; 4x4), who has looked compact, and shared 41 in just 8.1 overs before stumps. Ashraful dispatched deliveries outside off to the boundary with absolute authority and was unbeaten on 24 off 15 balls. © Bangladesh Cricket Board