Visiting Afghanistan exhibited a strong indication of their potential as they beat Bangladesh Cricket Board XI comfortably by 66 runs in their lone practice match at Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah on Friday.
Youngster Mosaddek Hossain, who was named in the 13-member Bangladesh squad for the first two ODIs, had a good outing, scoring highest 76 off 97 balls with five fours and three sixes.
The 20-year old displayed great maturity coming in to bat in a difficult situation with the BCB XI struggling on 23/3. He initially took time to settle down at the crease before opening up and playing some delightful strokes.
However, when he was deceived by experienced off-spinner Mohammad Nabi, it was game over for the home side.
In pursuit of 234, BCB XI were all out for 167 in 38.1 overs as none of the batsmen were able to provide any kind of support to the right-hander Mosaddek. Shuvagata Hom was the second highest scorer with 34 runs while Mehedi Hasan Miraz (15) was only the third batsman to reach double figures. BCB XI captain Imrul Kayes, who is also in the Bangladesh squad, was dismissed after scoring only eight while Sabbir Rahman (nine) too departed cheaply.
Following the game, Mosaddek said his knock will give him a lot of confidence with the first of three day-night ODIs against the Afghans taking place on Sunday in Mirpur's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
“It was important for me to read the wicket first as it was a difficult pitch to bat on. It was a low and turning wicket and I am happy to have read the wicket properly. Obviously, whenever a player gets a national call, the level of confidence grows automatically. I tried to bat till the end but unfortunately, it did not happen,” said Mosaddek.
Mosaddek went on to inform that the 18-year old Rashid Khan has all the attributes to trouble the Tigers in the ODIs. Rashid picked up two wickets on Friday.
“I think Rashid is a very good bowler among the three leg-spinners. He bowls in a very good position and also has some variations up his sleeve. He is difficult to play at times and he can bowl a very good googly, which is his biggest strength,” he said.
[caption id="attachment_17675" align="alignnone" width="1024"]
Afghanistan celebrate the dismissal of Bangladesh Cricket Board XI opening batsman Anamul Haque during their lone practice match in Fatullah's Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium on Friday Mainoor Islam Manik[/caption]
Earlier on Friday, Kayes invited Afghanistan to bat first as they were bundled out for 233 in 49.2 overs with paceman Alauddin Babu and Mehedi bagging three wickets each. Pacers Abu Haider and Subashish Roy also chipped in with two wickets apiece.
Afghan middle-order batsman Hashmatullah Shahidi top-scored with 69 off 96 balls, featuring five fours and a six, but the visitors kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Mirwais Ashraf smashed a quick-fire 32 off just 19 deliveries at the end to add some respectability to the total.
After the game, Ashraf expressed confidence that they would give a good account of themselves against the Tigers.
“This was a great preparation for us against BCB XI. We also had an excellent preparation in India of around 20 days. Hopefully we are willing to play positive cricket and give some tough times to the Bangladesh team. Bangladesh are a Full Member nation and a well respected side. But we also have some good players in all the three departments,” said Ashraf.