June 28, 2003

Bangladesh eye victory in low-scoring match

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Day 2 Close Queensland Academy of Sport Invitation 201 and 153 for 7 (Payne 52, Kapali 4-24) lead Bangladesh 203 for 9 dec (Kapali 55, Hopes 4-35) by 151 runs

Alok Kapali starred with both bat and ball as Bangladesh gained a slight upperhand over Queensland Academy of Sport Invitation at the close of the second day's play. In a low-scoring match which looks certain to end inside three days, Bangladesh declared their first innings at 203 for 9 - just two runs in the lead - and then restricted the Queensland side to 153 for 7.

Kapali top-scored for Bangladesh, hitting six fours and a six in a spunky 55. Then, he caused plenty of damage with his legspinners, running through Queensland ASI's middle order to return figures of 4 for 24.

Resuming their innings at 86 for 3, Bangladesh were quickly reduced to 112 to 6, with James Hopes's medium-pace doing most of the damage. He snared the first two wickets of the day, dismissing Al Sahariar (4) and Mohammad Ashraful (39). When Damien MacKenzie, right-arm fast-medium bowler, dismissed Sanwar Hossain for 6, a Bangladesh lead looked unlikely, but Kapali and Khaled Masud, the wicketkeeper, stitched together a 60-run partnership for the seventh wicket which put the innings back on track.

Kapali was finally dismissed by Hopes, who finished with figures of 4 for 35, but Bangladesh managed to sneak ahead of the Queensland ASI total. The Queensland team's opening pair saw off Bangladesh's new-ball attack, adding 54 for the first wicket, but the problems for the home team began soon after. Despite a spirited 52 from Daniel Payne, the right-handed opener, Queensland ASI lost wickets at regular intervals. Kapali ripped through the middle order, and among his victims was Nathan Hauritz (9) and Payne.

The eighth-wicket pair of MacKenzie and Lee Carseldine saw off the last six overs, but Bangladesh still had reason to be pleased. If their batsmen keep their wits about them, Bangladesh could well make a winning start to their Australian tour.

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