In the second day of the third warm-up match between Bangladesh and NTCM XI, the familiar old story was repeated. The weakness of the Bangladeshi batting was exposed and the NTCM bowlers dismissed Bangladesh all out for 139 thereby taking an important lead of 50 runs.
The Bangladeshi batsmen were also off to a slow and shaky start like the NTCM players and by lunch were atruggling at 56/3 with Javed Omar, Habibul Bashar and Mohammad Ashraful already back in the pavilion. Nathan Hauritz, a known Australian off-spinner took a wicket off his first ball in the morning when he had Mohammed Ashraful caught by BJ Hatton for 8. He again struck just after lunch to dismiss Al-Sahariar Rokon for 16. Rokon was the first batsmen in the match to hit a 6 in this slowish pitch in the Marrara Oval in Darwin.
The surprise package of the day was Hannan Sarkar. Hannan was the only Bangladeshi player to stay on at the wicket for a long time and he hit a patient knock of 34 off 156 balls(7x4) and occupied the crease for over 2 hours. Alok Kapali was the only batsmen to give some able support to Hannan Sarkar as he hit 21 runs off 48 balls(1x4). After Hannan Sarkar got out, the tailenders chipped in with useful runs. Mashrafe-Bin-Mortaza hit a patient knock of 20 off 50 balls(1x4) to frustrate the NTCM bowling for almost an hour. He recieved some able support from Tapash Baisya and Mohammad Rafique who hit 11 and 10 runs repectively. Due to all these efforts, Bangladesh were able to cripple off to 139 runs, 50 behind the NTCMs first innings score of 189.
Despite the poor show by the batsmen, the Bangladeshi bowlers were off to a flying start in their second innings as they dismissed both the NTCM openers, I Redpath and NL Berry for 0. Monjural Islam, struck again a few balls later to dismiss Micheal Clarke, the first innings hero and a known Australian player for just 1 to have the hosts reeling in at 3/1. Monjural Islam took 2 of the wickets to fall and the third wicket was taken by Mashrafe-Bin-Mortaza. AN Williams and KE Vowles led the rescue act for NTCM later in the day as they hit 13 and 16 runs respectively to take NTCM to a fairly healthier 32/3 at the close of play.
For tommorow, the Bangladeshi batsmen can at best hope to draw this match and in the rare case, if they bowl out NTCM quickly, the Bangladeshis might even try and win this match. 2 wins out of 3 matches in Australia could be a major achievement for the cricketing minnows. The young Bangladeshi players are yet to face the toughest challenge of their lives when they take on Australia in the 1st test match starting on 18th July at this very ground in the Marrara Oval in Darwin, which many former players are considering as the biggest mismatch in test-cricket history.