Bangladesh cricket team’s dismal show in South Africa continued as they lost their only warm-up match before the one-day international series to Cricket South Africa Invitational XI by six wickets at Bloemfontein on Thursday.
The presence of some senior cricketers like Sakib al Hasan and Mashrafee bin Murtaza could do little to motivate the visiting side as they were dismissed for a modest score of 255 runs in 48.1 overs in another batting pitch.
The home side reached 257-4 in 46.1 overs without facing any serious trouble owing to a 147-run opening stand between Aiden Markram and teenage opener Matthew Breetzk.
Markram, who made successful debut against Bangladesh in the preceding Test series struck 82 off just 68 balls with the help of eight fours and a six while 18-year old right-hander Breetzk added 71 off 100 balls.
Bangladesh had to wait for 26 overs to get their first breakthrough when Nasir Hossain took a catch off his own bowling to dismiss Markram and Mashrafee soon bowled Breetzk to bring some respite for the visitors.
However, skipper JP Duminy and veteran AB de Villiers, who ended his short break from cricket with this game, kept their composures to take the home side close.
Mamhudullah dismissed Duminy for 34 and then had de Villiers caught by wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim for 34 runs, but the twin dismissals came too late to create an impact on the result.
Bangladesh, who were without injured Tamim Iqbal, had been hoping to use this game to restore some confidence of their batsmen after a sub-par show in two Test matches, which they had lost by 333 runs and an innings and 254 runs.
Skipper Mashrafee readily opted to bat but top-order batsmen failed to use this opportunity despite an aggressive start by Imrul Kayes.
A subdued Soumya Sarkar fell for three in the eighth over and Imrul, who made 27 off 31 balls with six fours, followed him in the next ball to spoil his good start.
Once Liton Das departed for eight and beleaguered Mushfiq ended his effort at 22, Bangladesh were left reduced to 63-4 inside 15 overs.
Sakib lifted the side with 64 off 67 balls and got some assistance from Mahmudullah (22) in his initial time at the crease.
Sabbir Rahman took the onus on his shoulder and hit 52 off 54 fours with two fours and three sixes after Sakib’s untimely dismissal in the 37th over, but they proved to be inadequate in the end.
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