Last practice match today

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The national cricketers will play their last Twenty20 practice match at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium today.

After six days of commando training, a first of its kind for the Tigers, under an Army unit in Sylhet, Mohammad Ashraful's men have so far played a number of practice matches to prepare for next month's ICC Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa.

Bangladesh, which will leave for Kenya on Wednesday, will be involved in a four-nation warm-up event in Nairobi prior to the main competition starting from September 11.

Instead of the usual fitness and net sessions, the management has arranged warm-up matches to make sure that the batsmen adopt to the new version of the game but the outcome were not very satisfying.

"I think 180-plus is a standard total but so far, we have failed to fulfill our expectations. We have to adjust to the new version of the game and for that hard work on our part is required. The good news is that both our openers have finally scored some runs but the problem is that we haven't exploited the slog overs properly," said Ashraful adding that none of the batsmen could carry on in their innings during the matches.

Southpaws Tamim Iqbal (27 off 30 balls) and Junaed Siddiqe (36 off 31 balls) finally showed some mettle in yesterday's match but the total runs achieved by their team (Green XI) was a modest 134-6 in their allotted 20 overs.

Alok Kapali, who played as a makeshift opener, continued his form with a 64-ball 68 but it could not salvaged Ashraful's XI to suffer a nine-run defeat in the first match.

The second match was abandoned following heavy rain after Red's were perilously placed at 54 for 4.

Game 1
GREEN: 134 for six in 20 overs (Tamim 27, Junaed 36, Aftab 27, Nadif 10, Mashrafee 7, Shakib 17, Razzak 2 not out, Sharif 1 not out; Forhad 2-26, Riyad 2-26, Kapali 2-23).

RED: 125 for six in 20 overs (Kapali 68, Nazimuddin 11, Ashraful 3, Riyad 10, Ziaur 1, Forhad 26, Mushfiqur 1 not out, Razzak 2-22, Sharif 2-24, Shakib 1-14).

Result: Green won by 9 runs.

Game 2
RED: 54 for 4 in 9 overs (Ashraful 5, Nazimuddin 28 not out, Kapali 1, Riyad 10, Ziaur 7, Mushfiqur 2 not out; Mashrafee 1-17, Shathil 2-24).

Result: Match abandoned.