Bangladesh cricket team are in Sri Lanka to play a two-match Test series. They are now playing an intra-squad warm-up match ahead of that at Katunayeke. The Tamim Iqbal-led Bangladesh Red are taking on Bangladesh Green led by Test skipper Mominul Haque. Safe to say, the first day of the match belonged to the batsmen as the bowlers barely found success. At stumps, Bangladesh Red team were 314 for one with Tamim Iqbal, Saif Hassan, Najmul Hossain Shanto and Mushfiqur Rahim hitting half-centuries.
Tamim Iqbal, the skipper of the Red team, walked off after scoring 63. His opening partner Saif Hassan did so after scoring 52. Najmul Hossain Shanto, who came in at three, notched up a fifty as well and walked off scoring 53. Mushfiqur Rahim was among the runs as well scoring 66. Wicketkeeper-batsman Nurul Hasan Sohan also scored 48. Mehidy Hasan Miraz was unbeaten on 24. Shuvagata Hom got the solitary wicket of Taijul Islam towards the end of the day.
Chief selector Minhajul Abedin Nannu admitted that it was a tough day for the bowlers and expected that they would soon be able to acclimatise to the conditions.
"It was a tough session for the bowlers. The bounce here is good since it is a flat track. Probably the conditions will be the same in the Test matches. It is important to concentrate and find good line and lengths in such warm conditions. There is still a day left and I hope the bowlers will soon learn to adjust," Nannu said.
Nannu mentioned that the warm-up match was really significant going into the series. "It was really important for us. We were provided with the best facilities here and we made good use of it. I think the match has helped the players adjust to the conditions. Our top order batted really well. Bowlers tried to maintain good line and length. I think after the completion of the match, we will be ready to play Test cricket," he said.
Top-order batsman Najmul Hossain Shanto said that the warm-up match has helped them prepare for the series. "I think it was a great preparatory stage. We batted just the way we wanted to. If we can continue in this fashion, it will be great for us," Shanto said.
Shanto remarked that it is tough in Sri Lanka to acclimatise to the weather. "Of course it is challenging here. But we don't have any option. We have to play here. But I think the bowlers did well initially. Batting became easier after 25 overs. We the batters batted very well. We had 2-3 sessions of batting practice. We are trying to adjust to the weather. We don't have any other option."
Shanto opined that the players need to stay patient and take one session at a time.
Stumps, Day 1
Red team: 314/1 in 79.2 overs (Mushfiqur Rahim 66*, Tamim Iqbal 63, Najmul Hossain Shanto 53, Saif Hassan 52, Shuvagata Hom 46/1)