Ã¢€˜AÃ¢€™ team strike first in T20 Challenge SeriesStaff Correspondent
The Bangladesh national team squandered a strong platform laid by their first three batsmen and fell to a 12-run defeat against the Bangladesh A team in the opening match of the T20 Challenge Series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Wednesday.
Bangladesh began the chase of their 172-run target with a pair of 55-run partnerships – first between openers Anamul Haque (30 off 28 balls) and Shamsur Rahman (48 off 34), and then between Shamsur and captain Mushfiqur Rahim (33 off 21) – and were well-positioned at 110-1 after 13.2 overs, requiring under ten an over with nine wickets in hand.
However, Mushfiq was caught by Jahirul Islam off the next delivery from A team captain Nasir Hossain to break the 33-ball second-wicket stand, and Sabbir Rumman caught Shamsur off Elias Sunny four balls later to bring two new batsmen to the crease and slow the scoring rate.
Bangladesh scored just 26 runs from the 14th to 18th overs, losing four wickets in that span and leaving 37 runs to get from the last two overs, which proved to be too much.
A 30-run stand between Ziaur Rahman (16 off 7) and Naeem Islam (20 off 19) from the last 16 balls could only take the national side to 159-5 after their 20 overs, 13 runs shy of the target.
Elias took two wickets for 30 in his four overs, while Arafat Sunny and Nasir both helped pull the national side back after their strong start with economical spells. Arafat took 1-16 from four overs, and Nasir took 1-16 from three.
Earlier, Bangladesh A scored 171-9 after Nasir won the toss and elected to bat first. Opener Imrul Kayes scored 45 off 36 balls – with three fours and three sixes – and Mominul Haque scored 31 off 17. Farhad Reza, a candidate to re-establish himself in the national team picture after a strong showing in the Dhaka Premier League, added 24 off 16.
Spinner Abdur Razzak took four wickets for 36 runs, while veteran paceman Mashrafee bin Murtaza took 2-34.
The national side played without a number of first-team regulars, who were absent for a variety of reasons.
Opener Tamim Iqbal has been instructed not to return before December 20 as he completes his rehab from an abdominal injury he incurred in November during the series against New Zealand, while Rubel Hossain is nursing a knee injury.
Meanwhile, star all-rounder Sakib al Hasan is on leave from the national team for his wedding reception.
Bangladesh A 171-9 in 20 overs (I Kayes 45, M Haque 31, F Reza 24, N Hossain 17; A Razzak 4-36, Mashrafee 2-34) v Bangladesh 159-5 in 20 overs (S Rahman 48, M Rahim 33, A Haque 30, N Islam 20 not out; E Sunny 2-30).
Result: Bangladesh A won by 12 runs.
Toss: Bangladesh A.
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