Tuesday, June 06, 2023
Updated: Friday, July 04, 2003
Bashar's 99 puts Bangladesh in strong position

James Stedman
The day started with the Bangladeshis practising their batting before play. They didn?t train lightly and wouldn?t even sign autographs when offered. Dav Whatmore was training with captain Khaled Mahmud and showed great interest into Mahmud?s batting. After they all had gone in the only remaining pair where Mohammad Rafique and Khaled Mashud training together. Habibul Bashar started off getting a few boundaries. Later it was noticed that Bashar was taking a few steps back before delivery almost to avoid the ball but was still playing the ball on its merits. He was the first to reach 50 with a pull to square leg. Soon after Javed Belim reached his 50 and at lunch Bangladesh were 1/157 with Bashar racing onto 86* scoring 73 runs in a session.

After lunch Bashar kept his form and Javed was trying to move the run rate along. He then skied a drive to cover and Bangladesh was 2/173. Bashar then moved onto 99 before chopping one on and was sent on his way. Sanwar then joined Mohammad Ashraful at the crease. They weren?t together for long as Ashraful played a hopeless shot outside off to Lockyear and Bangladesh were collapsing at 4/177. Young Alok Kapali then entered as Javed Belim was raising laughter in the dressing room. Kapali and Sanwar then moved the scoreboard passed 200. Kapali then got caught behind trying to play a cover drive and Bangladesh was 5/215. Captain Khaled Mahmud then elevated himself in the order to try and move the run-rate along before he made his declaration. Sanwar was playing very well but was later bowled for 26 after steadying the Bangladeshi innings. Khaled Mashud then came in and he kept the wicket intact. Khaled Mahmud played a meaty cut but a glorious diving catch from Western Australian opener Scott Mueleman. Mashrafe Mortaza and Khaled Mashud then remained at the wicket for tea when Khaled Mahmud declared. Al-Sahariah Rokon (wearing a baseball glove) and Habibul Bashar then went out during the tea break to practise fielding.

It seemed to have worked, as Bashar then was the best on the field saving numerous boundaries. Mashrafe Mortaza and Tareq Aziz opened the bowling. Aziz with reasonable pass and putting it on a spot, while Mashrafe was charging in and grunting, releasing thunderbolts. Mashrafe then put one just short of a length that kicked up and took the top edge of Williams? bat. It lobbed over slips but Hannan Sarker went in reverse and took a safe catch. A couple of over late, Mashrafe (bowling around the wicket) bowled a bouncer and Scott Mueleman looked to pull it between the two men at fine leg. But the ball had too much hang time and Tareq Aziz was able to come across and give Mashrafe his second wicket. Three overs later Tareq bowled a textbook yorker to dismiss Peter Worthington who was cursing as he left the field.

At this time Mashrafe Mortaza left the field and was seen wearing some support on his lower leg. He then entered the dressing rooms followed by team physio John Gloster. Soon after John Gloster left holding the supporting device followed by a limping Mashrafe Mortaza. He then sat on the sideline for the rest of the day alongside Al-Sahariah, Taposh Baisya and Monjural Islam.

Bangladesh then changed to a double spin attack in Mohammad Rafique and Alok Kapali. Rafique bowling around the wicket then pitched one in line and straightened it to catch keeper Luke Ronchi plumb in front. There was some controversy earlier when Mashrafe bowled a bouncer and the batsman ducked under it no problem. But from behind the wicket they all went up. Also something to note was that at one stage Bangladesh had 6 slips a cover a mid-off and a lone fielder on the leg side at square leg. In the end the Academy were 4/99 at stumps and looking to a declaration tomorrow.