Cook and Prior ease England to seven-wicket win
England XI 155 for 3 (Cook 51, Prior 64*) beat BCB XI 151 for 8 (Alauddin 43*) by seven wickets
England completed their warm-ups for Sunday's first ODI by easing to a comfortable seven-wicket win against the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI at Fatullah. In a rain-reduced contest, the result was never in doubt after England's bowlers reduced their opponents to 80 for 7 inside the first 22 overs of the match. An eighth-wicket stand of 55 between Tanvir Haider and Alauddin Babu ensured a reasonably competitive total of 151 for 8, but the target was knocked off with 11.4 overs remaining.
Alastair Cook did the damage at the top of the order, easing to 52 from 51 balls before retiring at 81 for 1, whereupon Matt Prior - relieved of the gloves to give Craig Kieswetter a chance to show the full range of his abilities - did his best to keep his own place in the starting XI with an unbeaten 64. Prior did, however, survive in peculiar circumstances shortly before the conclusion of the match, when he holed out to deep midwicket for 51, only for the umpire to call dead-ball, apparently because of some interfering music from the stands.
Genuine alarms were few and far between for England's batsmen, although Kevin Pietersen missed out on time in the middle for the second match running. He was promoted to open after his controversial first-ball duck on Tuesday, but managed just 6 before slashing Babu to Junaid Siddique at slip. Eoin Morgan was the other man to fall, as he sized up a reverse sweep off Mahmudul Hasan, and was bowled for 9.
After torrential overnight rain, the match began more than two hours behind schedule, with the overs reduced to 37 per side. When the BCB XI top-order collapsed to Ryan Sidebottom and Tim Bresnan, it seemed that the recalculation would be immaterial. But Haider instilled a measure of calm with a well-constructed 35, before Babu cracked five late boundaries to top-score with 43 and give the innings some respectability.
Sidebottom made the first breakthrough when Shahriar Nafees prodded a simple chance to Bresnan at mid-on, only two balls after his opening partner, Siddique, had been put down at second slip by James Tredwell. Siddique was unable to make his good fortune count, however, as Tredwell soon made amends to give Bresnan his first wicket of the innings.
Aftab Ahmed has a hard-hitting reputation, and he briefly thrilled a sizeable and enthusiastic crowd by clobbering Sidebottom over square leg for six, before belting Bresnan straight back down the ground. But in the same over, he nibbled outside off, to give an easy catch to Kieswetter behind the stumps.
One over later, and Imtiaz Hossain missed a straight one from Sidebottom to be pinned lbw for 0, leaving the hopes of the innings in the hands of Raqibul Hasan. He responded cautiously at first, picking off the singles to reach 19 from 39 balls, in a 28-run stand for the fifth wicket with Mahmudul Hasan.
But Liam Plunkett lured Raqibul into a poked edge to the keeper, before Tredwell's offspin accounted for two wickets in three overs - Mahmudul chipped a soft catch to Luke Wright at midwicket, before Mashrafe Mortaza, whose arrival was greeted with the biggest roar of the day, dampened the spirits of the crowd by holing out to Plunkett at long-on for a third-ball duck.
A spirited performance from Alauddin and Haider at least gave the BCB a nominal total to defend. Haider batted sensibly in a 55-ball stay, before aiming a wild heave at Shahzad only for Cook to make good ground with a low take at wide mid-on. Alauddin, whose only half-chance came when Kieswetter was slow to react to a top-edged pull off Bresnan, then carried his team past 150 with a handful of lusty blows.
Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo. Go to http://twitter.com/miller_cricket to follow him on Twitter through the England tour of Bangladesh.