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October 13, 2009
Bangladesh Cricket Board XI 214 for 6 (Mominul 93, Buck 3-17) beat England Under-19 213 (Best 57, Stokes 53, Rafiq 51, Sabbir 3-51) by four wickets
The England Under-19 tour of Bangladesh got off on the wrong foot as they lost their opening match against Bangladesh Cricket Board XI by four wickets. A half-century from Mominul Haque ensured victory with four overs to spare, after Sabbir Rahman's 3 for 51 had kept England to a below-par 213.
England chose to bat in the replayed 50-over match at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, after the two-day match scheduled to start yesterday was abandoned due to unplayable ground conditions in Fatullah.
The visitors made a terrible start after Joe Root was run out at the beginning of the fourth over. Arman Badshah then sent back Ateeq Javid and Chris Dent as England slipped to 46 for 3. However, they were propped up by twin fifties from Ben Stokes and captain Azeem Rafiq, the two putting on 33 for the fifth wicket. But just when Sabbir looked to have England in trouble with two quick wickets, Paul Best, in at No. 8, lifted them past the 200-mark. He hit a breezy 57 off 55 balls, which included three fours and two sixes, before becoming Sabbir's third victim.
With the top three batsmen dismissed cheaply, largely due to Nathan Buck's splendid efforts with the ball, Bangladesh were feeling the jitters during the chase. But Mominul took on the responsibility of resurrecting the innings and strung together some key partnerships to wrest the initiative back.
He put on 41 with captain Mahmudul Hasan and the fifth-wicket stand with Imamul Hossain yielded 61. But it was the sixth-wicket partnership of 65 with Sabbir that effectively ended England's hopes. Mominul remained unbeaten on 93 off 111 balls, an innings which included 10 boundaries and a six.
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Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?