Sabbir blast powers BCB XI to narrow win
BCB XI (Sabbir 123, Junaid 4-38) beat Pakistanis 268 for 9 (Hafeez 85, Alam 67*) by one wicket
What should have been Pakistan's opportunity for match practice turned into a Sabbir Rahman exhibition. His whirlwind 123 and a survival act by the tail-enders gave BCB XI a one-wicket win in Fatullah.
The home side needed ten runs when Sohag Gazi, after making 36 off 38 balls, departed in the 47th over, leaving Taijul Islam and Mohammad Shahid to bring them victory. Taijul somehow negotiated the next over bowled by Wahab Riaz, before inside-edging one through fine leg off Junaid Khan in the 49th over. He took a single, and after a dot ball, Shahid's edge brought them the winning runs.
Junaid finished with four wickets but that was one of the few positives Pakistan took out of a game that was dominated by Sabbir's 99-ball blast.
The visitors began their defense of 268 with two early wickets. Both openers, Tamim Iqbal and Rony Talukdar, fell within the first six overs, with the score on nine. Litton Das was next to go after adding 36 runs for the third wicket with Sabbir who added another 36 with the BCB XI captain Mominul Haque.
From 81 for four in the 19th over, Sabbir went into counter-attacking mode as he and Imrul Kayes added 124 runs for the fifth wicket. Sabbir struck seven fours and eight sixes in his innings and by the time he was out, BCB XI were in prime position for a final assault on the target.
Sabbir started his six-hitting spree with a slog-sweep off Pakistan captain Azhar Ali. He played a similar shot against the legspinner Yasir Shah two overs later and then hammered Saad Nasim for his third six over long-on. He repeated the dose against Shah, also over long-on. Rahat Ali was dumped over wide-ish long-on twice in two overs before Sabbir swept Saeed Ajmal over square-leg for his seventh six. Junaid was launched over long-on with a forehand hit.
Sabbir survived a chance off Riaz's bowling, when Mohammad Rizwan put him on eight in the tenth over, while deputising for Sarfraz Ahmed behind the stumps.
Imrul's wicket in the 38th over broke the partnership. He had made 36 off 56 balls. Sabbir and Shuvagata Hom followed soon after, and a promising chase seemed on its way to derailment. But Sohag Gazi made 36 off 28 balls with four boundaries and a six, and added 31 runs for the ninth wicket with Shahid, who later scored the winning runs. Shahid also enjoyed a stroke of luck, when Saeed Ajmal dropped him off Rahat Ali in the 42nd over.
Having chosen to bat, the visitors posted 268 for nine. In his first innings as the new ODI captain, Azhar made 27 off 49 balls, with three fours, before he was out in the 15th over. His opening partner Mohammad Hafeez remained until the 28th over, hitting four sixes and nine fours in a 79-ball 85. Fawad Alam struck an unbeaten 67 off 58 balls with nine fours but the likes of Haris Sohail and the uncapped Rizwan hardly made an impact with 23 and 18 respectively.
For BCB XI, Shuvagata picked up three wickets with his part-time off-breaks while there was one wicket each for Shahid, Muktar Ali, Jubair Hossain, Taijul and Sohag.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84