England XI 256 (Duckett 60, Tanveer 4-52) drew with BCB XI 294 (Mazid 106, Shanto 72, Ansari 4-68)
Hameed makes case to partner Cook in first Test
In the Chittagong twilight at the end of their second two-day warm-up game at the MA Aziz Stadium, the England players crossed the small roundabout between the ground and their hotel with a better understanding and practical experience of the conditions they may face in the first Test on Thursday.
The visitors batted for 74.2 overs on the day with most of their regulars and hopefuls getting a fair hit in a match setting. Ben Duckett’s 101-ball 60 was as attractive to watch as it was important for England’s perpetration. A place in the Test team can’t still be guaranteed but four fifties on a tour of the sub-continent is hard to ignore in a selection meeting.
Haseeb Hameed also staked his claim through his long stay in the middle, having batted for more than four hours in two stints. He made 57 off 125 balls, but fought through phases against both pace and spin.
Gary Ballance also spent quality time in the middle, batting for nearly two hours while Joe Root and Ben Stokes would also be reasonably happy with their time at the crease. But it was a missed chance for Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali in particular, as both batsmen have been short of runs on this tour so far.
The takeaway for the home side was how Taskin Ahmed started and finished the day. He hurried Hameed, hitting him twice too, and ended England’s innings with a beautiful yorker to Gareth Batty.
Legspinner Tanveer Haider took four wickets, thus also putting his name in the hat for the selectors. He has been asked to stay back in Chittagong to train with the Bangladesh team, rather than rejoin Rangpur Division, his first-class team in the NCL.
Meanwhile, England have been boosted by the return of their captain, Alastair Cook, to the squad, following the birth over the weekend of his second child.
Cook made two hundreds on England’s last tour of Bangladesh in 2009-10, and made sure that he will be ready for the first Test by flying out with the ODI squad ahead of his daughter’s birth.
“I think you’d be a bit worried if it was someone who was less experienced, I suppose, and hadn’t experienced these conditions before and spent time in the middle because that’s important,” said Cook’s team-mate, Steven Finn, after the close of play on Sunday.
“The amount of cricket that Cooky’s played in the subcontinent, I think he’ll fit back in seamlessly.”
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
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