July 3, 2003

Bangladeshis struggle against Academy XI

Bangladesh were given another taste of the harsh realities of playing cricket in Australia when the Commonwealth Bank Academy side proved a model of batting concentration at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane today.

Playing their second match of their Australian tour, the Bangladeshis ended the first of three days trailing by 205 runs, with nine wickets in hand, after the home side declared at 258 for 3.

A third-wicket stand of 180 between opener Matthew Innes and Rhett Lockyear lifted the Academy side after two early setbacks. The partnership lasted 195 minutes and just over 53 overs, putting the hosts in control and demonstrating the virtue of application to the tourists.

Innes, from Victoria, looked especially good, batting through the innings for his 128, scored off 200 balls in 293 minutes. Lockyear, from New South Wales, scored 90 before he was stumped by Khaled Mashud off Mohammad Rafique.

The Australians capitalised on their decision to bat first, but there was some early excitement as Scott Meuleman was bowled by Mashrafe Mortaza off the second ball of the second over. Aaron Nye then attempted to dig in but fell to a catch by Khaled Mashud for 10, leaving the home team tottering at 20 for 2.

But Innes and Lockyear settled down well, and while none of the bowlers were really taken to the cleaners, steady accumulation kept the momentum going right through the innings. Innes' half-century came off 107 balls and Lockyear's off 123.

Once Lockyear departed, Callum Ferguson joined Innes to add 58 in 46 minutes before the declaration was made.

Bangladesh opener Javed Omar struggled to score, and after battling for 36 minutes, he had reached 8 when he was trapped in front by Chris Duval. But Hannan Sarker and Habibul Bashar consolidated to take Bangladesh to stumps at 53 for 1 off 19 overs, with Sarkar 32 not out and Bashar on 13.