Top-order batsman Soumya Sarkar struck an unbeaten hundred while pacer Ebadat Hossain justified his selection with a five-wicket haul as Bangladesh Cricket Board XI secured a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Zimbabwe in their lone warm-up match at the BKSP on Friday.
Soumya, who had to prove his form despite some fine knocks in the ongoing National Cricket League, finally stood up against an international side making 102 off 114 balls to guide BCB XI to 181-2 in the 39th over.
Bowlers earlier did their job as Ebadat led the attack with 5-19, while Mohammad Saifuddin finished with 3-32 bowling out Zimbabwe for 178 runs in 45.2 overs after the visitors had opted to bat first.
Skipper Hamiton Masakadza rescued Zimbabwe innings from a precarious 47-5 with his 102 off 138 balls and he was supported by Elton Chigumbura, who struck 47 off 83 balls in their 124-run sixth wicket stand.
No other Zimbabwe batsmen could reach double figure.
Soumya, who was dropped for the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe after some shocking international performance, looked to have returned to his blistering best, hitting 13 fours and a six in his composed innings.
After the loss of opener Mizanur Rahman (eight), who failed to bring back his domestic form, one-down Soumya got the momentum when he hit a boundary in the first ball he faced.
Uncapped Fazle Rabbi, who was picked for Zimbabwe series, looked shaky and despite being dropped on one, he could make only 13 off 34 balls before Sikandar Raza dismissed the southpaw.
However, Soumya had different intension coming into the game straight after his NCL game in Khulna, and hit Zimbabwe bowlers all around the ground to notch up a well-deserved hundred.
Watched by chief selector Minhajul Abedin and head coach Steve Rhodes, Soumya and another discarded cricketer Mosaddek Hossain put 112 runs for the third wicket to take BCB XI close to victory before the latter arbitrarily retired to give Ariful Haque a chance to bat.
Earlier, Ebadat and Mohor Sheikh did the initial damage for Zimbabwe taking three top-order batsmen while Saifuddin also joined the act to rattle the top-orders.
Masakadza and Chigumbura summoned their experience to bail out the side momentarily before Saifuddin, touted as the replacement of Mashrafee bin Murtaza, bowled the latter to end the partnership.
Ebadot wrapped up the tails quickly as he picked three wickets in between four balls in the 45th over to complete a brilliant five-wicket haul and saluted his team-mates while celebrating his achievement after the game.
‘During the last BCL, Mahmudullah Bhai added something new in my celebration. He said as I work at Air Force, if I get wicket I should give a salute in the celebration. So I did it in the match. Mosaddek also requested me to do so,’ he said.
This was second time Ebadat, a finding of Bangladesh Cricket Board’s pacer hunt programme, excelled in the tour game as he also picked up three wickets against England in 2016.
‘The England game was tough because I had to bowl in the second spell. Almost 110 runs were scored in the first eight overs. So there was lot of pressure. Also I was nervous but I tried to give my best,’ Ebadat recalled his England memory.
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