Bangladesh Test skipper Mushfiqur Rahim regained some of his form ahead of their crucial home series against England when he hammered a half-century in a warm-up match on Tuesday.
Mushfiq hit 51 off 57 balls before he edged a catch to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, helping the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI post a total of 309-9 in the match at Fatullah.
Imrul Kayes showed his credentials in limited over cricket, hitting 121 off 91 balls, which included 11 fours and sixes, but Mushfiq grabbed the equal attention despite scoring just a fifty.
He was not a part of the original squad, but selectors agreed to include him at the eleventh hour following his request.
‘He requested us yesterday [Monday] to give him an opportunity to play the game and we all agreed,’ said chief selector Minhajul Abedin. ‘He is a senior player, so we must help him to regain his form.’
Mushfiq is under pressure to deliver against England after he made just 56 runs in the just concluded three-match ODI series against Afghanistan.
His problem against Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan was conspicuous as the leg-spinner got him twice in three matches. He was dismissed by occasional leg-spinner Rahmat Shah in the other match.
His struggle as wicketkeeper, which proved to be very costly at times, especially during the second one-day against Afghanistan, did not help his cause either.
Mushfiq began his innings with a wonderful pull shot against leg-spinner Adil Rashid that reached the fence without troubling any fielder and since then onwards he looked to be totally in control until it ended.
While Imrul Kayes, who scored a century, was taking charge on most occasions, the diminutive right-handed batsman took the opportunity of building his innings with one and two’s with odd boundaries coming at regular intervals.
Question was raised with the way he went out by continuing his attempt to play his favourtite slog sweep against Afghanistan.
The shot, considered to be one of Mushfiq’s major strength, had brought his downfall on two occasions against the Afghans. It would have been the same case on third occasion had he not been lucky to dropped in the third match.
Mushfiq seemed to have learnt his lessons as he largely refrained from playing during his nearly an hour stay at the crease.
‘We are really happy to see him playing well today,’ said chief selector Minhajul.
Despite being a senior member of the side, Mushfiq never shied away from playing warm-up matches, a game usually reserved for the bench warmers.
Mushfiq featured in the warm-up match against Zimbabwe last year and was rewarded immediately as he scored 156 runs in three ODIs of the series that followed.
His exploits was highest among all the batsmen from either sides in the series.
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